At least 9,000 Nigerians are reportedly languishing in prisons abroad, with the largest number of 752 in the UK, while most of the rest are in prisons in the Asia-Pacific region, the Federal Government has disclosed.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Gbenga Ashiru, also said that the ministry was investigating the circumstances surrounding the sack of the Nigerian Acting Chief Justice of Gambia, Joseph Wowor, who was alleged to be soliciting bribe over a case.
Ashiru said the country would not defend any Nigerian that breaks laws of other countries, but assured that the ministry will look into the case to ascertain whether any form of highhandedness was used against him.
“We believe in due process and the rule of law. We believe in the judiciary, where our Chief Justice is working round the clock to sanitise the judiciary.
“The case in Gambia is being looked into and if there is any case of highhandedness or what ever, the Nigerian government will look into it and take necessary steps to ensure that the interest of Nigeria is protected.
“We are all living witnesses to the fact that where any government in Africa unduly takes action against a Nigerian, the Nigerian government will act appropriately.
“We have various ways to do that. We have done it in the past and we will continue to do it.
“One of our own principles is that we will stand up any where in the world, especially where it is a case of victimisation or injustice.
“However, when a Nigerian wilfully plans to commit a crime, then he is on his own because we don’t support criminality, indiscipline or breaking the laws of any country.”
Ambassador Ashiru also reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to ensuring gay marriage has no place in the country. He therefore warned the United States and the United Kingdom to desist from trying to impose gay rights in the country since “our laws, traditions and customs are against it.”
The government also vowed to take appropriate measures against the controversial £3,000 bond to be imposed on Nigerian visa applicants to the UK if it comes to fruition in November.