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270+ Nigerians jailed in Ethiopia for drugs

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By Abraham Adekunle

Foreign affairs ministry says Dr. Ezike’s claims are exaggerated.

Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has revealed that over 270 Nigerian inmates are serving various prison terms in Ethiopia. The agency added that most were imprisoned for drug-related offenses. The ministry was reacting to a viral video by one Dr. Paul Ezike making the rounds on social media on the alleged plight of Nigerian inmates in the Kaliti Prison in Ethiopia. In the video, Ezike said that a Nigerian inmate reached out to him, stating that they had been maltreated and punished differently for the same crime committed by other nationals. However, spokesperson for the ministry, Francisca Omayuli, stated that Ezike’s narration was blown out of proportion.

Omayuli’s statement read, “The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to a video by one Dr. Paul Ezike making the rounds on social media on the alleged plight of Nigerian inmates in the Kaliti Prison in Ethiopia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers Dr. Ezike’s narration as exaggerated and blown out of proportion, while his assertion of inaction by the Nigerian Mission in Addis Ababa to the alleged plight of Nigerian inmates, is unfair and misleading.”

FG in the process of signing MoU for transfer and exchange of prisoners.

According to the spokesperson, with over 270 Nigerian inmates in Ethiopian prisons, the Nigerian Mission in Addis Ababa regularly visits these prisons to ascertain the well-being of the Nigerian inmates, adding that the Ethiopian authorities have maintained that the inmates are not treated differently. Most of these inmates were incarcerated for drug-related offenses. Also, the Ethiopian authorities have always maintained that Nigerian inmates are not treated differently from other inmates. Scarce resources and budgetary constraints, amidst the growing number of inmates, often feature as the main challenge for the prison authorities.

Speaking further, she noted that the Federal Government of Nigeria, in response to the demands of Nigerian inmates, was in the process of concluding a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Transfer/Exchange of Prisoners with the Ethiopian Government. When finalized, this will enable Nigerian inmates to complete their jail terms in Nigeria, where their family members could assist with the government’s efforts towards their maintenance in prison. She said that this will be particularly beneficial to inmates with underlying illnesses.

High number of Nigerian offenders creates bad stereotype.

Furthermore, the Federal Government had kept reiterating the call for the few unpatriotic Nigerians involved in transnational organized crimes, including drug and human trafficking, to desist from such acts that lead to imprisonment and tarnish the image of the country, thereby subjecting innocent citizens to undue profiling across international borders. Being a transit hub, Ethiopia’s Bole International Airport receives massive movement of passengers and cargo to over 127 international destinations daily. So, there are reported cases of daily interceptions of drug traffickers.

Sadly, Nigerians have been identified as major culprits. This has contributed to the undue profiling and ill-treatment of a few innocent Nigerians traveling through the airport. But the ministry maintains that it is still an exaggeration for Dr. Ejike’s claims that all holders of the Nigerian green passport are subjected to profiling at the Bole International Airport, which receives four commercial flights from Nigeria daily with over two thousand passengers. “The Federal Government of Nigeria, through its Mission in Addis Ababa, will continue to engage with the Ethiopian authorities to address irritants in the bilateral relations of the two friendly countries, caused by a few individuals,” Omayuli noted.

Profiling of Nigerians due to recent happenings is now getting more sensitive.

Recently, Nigeria as a nation has been subjected to scrutiny before the whole world. The case of the president of the country allegedly forfeiting $460,000 to the US government in a drug-related case has also raised eyebrows with everyone both home and abroad. While it was debated both in court and in the media whether the forfeiture really did take place and whether it was criminal, Nigerians have had to face intensified profiling from outsiders. Perhaps this explains why Dr. Ezike would come to a conclusion that Nigerian inmates in Ethiopia are being mistreated on the basis of being Nigerian.

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Ask Nigeria
1 month ago

270+ Nigerians jailed in Ethiopia for drugsForeign affairs ministry says Dr. Ezike’s claims are exaggerated. – Express your point of view.

Adeoye Adegoke
Adeoye Adegoke
1 month ago

It’s disheartening to hear about the situation involving the imprisonment of Nigerians in Ethiopia for drug-related offenses. While the Foreign Affairs Ministry claims that Dr. Ezike’s claims are exaggerated, it is crucial to approach this issue with caution and seek a balanced perspective. It’s important to thoroughly examine the available data, assess the credibility of the sources, and consider broader contextual factors that may contribute to such cases. Open and transparent discussions among stakeholders, including government officials, foreign affairs ministries, and relevant organizations, can help address any discrepancies and arrive at a clearer understanding of the situation. It is essential to prioritize the well-being and fair treatment of individuals involved, while also working towards preventing drug-related crimes and promoting international cooperation to tackle this issue effectively.

1 month ago

regarding the drug-related crimes that resulted in the detention of Nigerians in Ethiopia. The welfare of the victims and the number of criminals must be prioritized in order to effectively address this issue, and efforts must be made to avoid drug-related crimes as well as to ascertain the number of criminals engaged. Even though the Foreign Affairs Ministry contends that Dr. Ezike’s assertions are overstated

1 month ago

270+ Nigerians jailed in Ethiopia for drugs. Because of the complexity of the situation, it is essential to rely on reliable information before making judgments. Let’s hope the facts are uncovered through a thorough, open investigation.Although the Foreign Affairs Ministry contends that Dr. Ezike’s declarations are overstated, it is important to proceed cautiously and look for an accurate approach. It’s crucial to carefully review the data that is accessible, evaluate the reliability of the sources.