The House of Representatives has come out to condemn the ill-treatment and discrimination against Nigerians living in South Africa, stressing that over 409 convicts were currently serving jail terms there.
Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewam, the Chairman of the House Committee on Diaspora, disclosed this in a statement issued after the committee’s visit to two prisons in South Africa. She described the increasing number of Nigerians in foreign prisons as “ridiculously embarrassing.”
The representative of Ikorodu Federal Constituency in Lagos State, Dabiri-Erewa, who visited the prisons alongside two members of the committee, Ajibola Famurewa and Umaru Shidanfi, consular officers of the Nigerian Embassy and executives of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, disclosed that over 400,000 Nigerians were currently living in South Africa.
During her interaction with some inmates, the lawmaker explained that some of them confessed that they had been denied their freedom, despite completing their jail terms.
“The inmates complained of extreme discrimination by the prison authorities in South Africa. The law enforcement officers always maltreat citizens of Nigeria for unjustifiable reasons. Sometimes, the authorities tore into pieces their Nigerian passports among several other allegations and refused to grant them bail, while others from other countries that committed similar bailable offence were granted bail.”