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FG secures release of 60 Nigerian prisoners in Tanzania

The Federal Government said on Wednesday it had secured the release of 60 out of the 73 Nigerians serving various jail terms in Tanzanian prisons.

The Head, Media and Public Relations Unit, Nigeria in the Diaspora Commission, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, said arrangements were being made by the Nigerian ambassador to Tanzania for the prisoners’ repatriation.

He said: “Ever before COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigerian Mission had been working on repatriation of Nigerian prisoners in Tanzania.

“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.”

According to Balogun, most of the convicts are arrested for alleged drug-related offences, while a few of the crimes bordered on violations of immigration law.

He said 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.

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The NIDCOM spokesman added: “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.”

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