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400 Nigerians in S/African prison – Dambazzau

The Minister of Interior, Abdul-Rahman Dambazzau has disclosed that about 400 Nigerians are currently serving jail terms in South African prison for various offences.  …

The Minister of Interior, Abdul-Rahman Dambazzau has disclosed that about 400 Nigerians are currently serving jail terms in South African prison for various offences.

 

Dambazzau stated this on Friday during a joint press briefing with Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama on the outcome of their visit to South Africa over the recent xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, including Nigerians in that country.

 

He said though he was yet to get the details of their offences, most of them were convicted on crimes bordering on drugs, fraud and prostitution.

 

"I understand that there are about 400 Nigerians who are in their prison for various offences…Most of the convicts are on drugs issues, fraud, prostitution but the details of which we will come to know later," he said.

 

The minister ruled out the possibility of repatriating the prisoners, saying there was no any prisoner exchange agreement between Nigeria and South Africa.

 

"As at now, we do not have any prisoner exchange agreement with South Africa. We have with some other countries. We will soon have with South Africa," he said.

 

Dambazzau, however, said Nigerians in South Africa who are involved in criminalities are in minorities, noting that majority of them are professionals, who contribute to the country’s socio-economic development.

 

He urged Nigerians in that country not to allow those involved in criminal activities to tarnish their image and Nigeria. "They have that moral responsibility to pick them out and report where necessary."

 

 

 

During meeting with his South African counterpart, Dambazzau said he emphasized that due process of the law as well as the right of fair hearing should be taken in dealing with those alleged to have committed any offence. 

 

He said there was no exact figure of Nigerians in South Africa. This, he said, was because Nigerians, upon arrival to the country, do not register with Nigerian mission there.

 

 

 

"We urged the leadership of Nigerian union in South Africa to register all the Nigerians in various parts of the country and take the list to the high commission. With that, the Nigerian mission would be able to address to their issue," he said.