35 Nigerians Illegally Detained in Ghanaian Border Town, Group AllegesAfrican News, Featured, Latest News, News Around Africa, West Africa Sunday, June 28th, 2020
By Nwa Diokpa
(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A non-Governmental group, Concerned Citizens Rights, has stated that 35 Nigerians are presently detained illegally in a border town of Aflao in Ghana which is located between Ghana and Togo Republic.
The group stated this in a letter issued to the media and signed by its National President, Dr. Olusegun Adeola and addressed to the Chairman, Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
The letter was also sent to the Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama and Ghana High Commission and Consulate-General in Nigeria urging relevant authorities to do the needful.
The letter reads:
“Available information corroborated the fact that about 35 Nigerians are currently detained some, for more than 45 days in unsanitary conditions in the arrival hall and other locations, which can better be described as ‘concentration camps.’ They sleep on bare concrete floor without food, and with just one toilet for all genders.
“To make matters worse, both men and women are cramped in one camp, sleeping together in flagrant violation of the detention code and convention. It was reliably informed that huge sums of money are also sized from traders among them by the immigration officers under the facade of ‘save keeping’.
“While being held incommunicado, they were made to pay 300 cedis each under duress to the immigration officers. Their phones and ECOWAS Passports were seized and without the opportunity of reaching out to members of their family since they left home, who may not even know their whereabouts, situations and circumstances currently.
“During investigation, we gathered that when some frustrated ones among the detainees complained after more than 30 days in detention, they were beaten, tortured and told, “you will die here.” They were told their offence was entering Ghana illegally, even when there was unfettered movement across borders as contained in the ECOWAS charter that bonded member states.
“These are people who have always seen Ghana as a sister country to Nigeria and Nigerians and who have previously been coming in and out of Ghana on business trips, believing they are covered under the ECOWAS Protocol Agreements.”
“They daily buy their own foods, and some are running out of money. Their treatment has nothing to do with COVID-19 because they have been tested and found negative for weeks and still kept together without social distancing and even face masks. There, men immigration officers escort women to private bathrooms, where the ‘prisoners’ pay for such services.
“Our concern is that the victims are gradually sliding into depression in their frustrated conditions and except prompt action is taken, suicide behaviors may follow. What they are facing now is surely beyond the expectations as travelers within the same sub-region.
“They crossed two Franco-Phone countries without horror and only to be so treated in their sister English speaking country. We are sure that Ghanaian Government and the Immigration authorities would not have approved this type of inhuman treatment knowing Ghanaian democratic, Human Rights and Rule of Law values as examples in Africa and ECOWAS.”
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