By Teslim Olawore
Amb. Michael Abikoye, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana has frowned at the bad treatment of Nigerians by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) with the deportation of 723 Nigerians between 2018 and 2019. He said this at a meeting he had with the Comptroller-General of GIS, Kwame Takyi, in Ghana.
Based on the reports of the meeting that was made available to newsmen.
The High Commissioner said that 723 Nigerians were deported on alleged offences such as illegal stay, cybercrime and prostitution between the January 2018 and January 2019.
According to Abikoye, 81 Nigerians are deported on alleged cybercrime and illegal stay in January, while 115 have so far been deported in February on the allegation of overstay and prostitution.
The High commissioner cautioned against inhuman treatment of Nigerians by Ghana, warning that any form of ill treatment of Nigerians would not be welcomed by the Nigerian Government.
He said, though the High Commission would not condone any form of criminality on the part of Nigerians, saying that inhuman treatment and alleged torture of some Nigerians in Ghana would no longer be tolerated.
“Although, the GIS had linked prostitution and cybercrimes as some of the reasons for the deportation, it is improper to deport Nigerians for alleged illegal stay in Ghana.
“There are several Ghanaians living in Nigeria and the Nigeria Immigration Service has never deported any of them on ground of illegal stay, because of a sense of brotherliness between our countries,” he said
The Ambassador did not hide his feelings on the bad treatment Nigerians undergo, stressing that there had been reported cases of molestation, harassment and torture of Nigerians by GIS officials. He then appealed to the CG to prevail on his officials to treat Nigerians and other ECOWAS nationals with human face, caution and not as common criminals.
In his response, CG Takyi, acknowledged the existing bilateral relationship between the two countries as earlier pointed by Abikoye.
According to him, the GIS are being compelled to carry out repatriation because of the conduct of some Nigerian nationals in Ghana.
He said that apart from cybercrime and prostitution, “some Nigerians had become laws in themselves; they do road blockages in major Ghanaian streets where they drink, fight and stab one another.
“This unruly behaviour” which contravenes the local laws in Ghana has led to directive from higher authority for their arrests and eventual deportation of those who do not have the requisite immigration papers.”
The CG, however, promised The High commissioner that the GIS will investigate the alleged unruly torture of some Nigerians.