The Nigerian Government has finalized arrangement for the release of 60 out of the 73 Nigerians imprisoned in Tanzania.
These Nigerians were imprisoned on different charges, says Mr Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head, Media and Public Relations Unit, Nigeria in Diaspora Commission.
According to the Commission’s spokesman, their repatriation was made possible by the Nigerian ambassador to Tanzania.
Mr Balogun who disclosed this through a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, noted that ever before COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigerian Mission had been working on repatriation of Nigerian prisoners in Tanzania.
Balogun said, “The Ambassador, Dr Sahobi Gada, was in Nigeria in January 2020, specifically for this purpose after having successfully secured a release of 60 out of 73 Nigerians in various prisons in Tanzania. Arrangements were then being made by the Ambassador for their repatriation.”
He also noted that most of the convicts are arrested for alleged drug-related offences, while a few of the offences bordered on immigration law violations.
He explained that the mission had been visiting other custodial facilities in Tanzania to check other Nigerians who may be serving jail terms, adding that it had also canvassed for amnesty for the prisoners on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For each of the 73 Nigerians in the prison, the mission had paid 330, 000 shillings (N55,544) as court fees and was always represented in court. The mission had also successfully negotiated the repatriation of 60 prisoners,” Mr Balogun stated