The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Michael Abikoye, has protested the “inhuman treatment” of Nigerians by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and described the deportation of Nigerians by Ghana as an “improper act”.
Abikoye stated this at a meeting with the Comptroller-General of the GIS, Kwame Takyi, in Ghana, where he revealed that 723 Nigerians were deported over alleged illegal stay, cybercrime, and prostitution between the January 2018 and January 2019.
According to him, 81 Nigerians were deported over alleged cybercrime and illegal stay in January, while 115 have so far been deported in February on the allegation of overstay, cybercrime and prostitution.
The Nigerian High Commissioner said the deportation could strain the brotherly relationship both countries share. He said:
“Although the GIS had linked prostitution and cybercrime 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 the grounds of illegal stay, because of the brotherliness between our countries.”
Abikoye warned against the inhuman treatment of Nigerians by Ghana, warning that any form of torture or ill-treatment of Nigerians would not be acceptable to the Nigerian government.
He said, though the high commission would not condone any form of criminality on the part of Nigerians, inhuman treatment and alleged torture of some Nigerians in Ghana would no longer be tolerated.
He also showed photos of some of them who sustained injuries on their legs, arms and eyes in the process of being tortured and cautioned that the inhuman act of torture was against the United Nations Convention.
Abikoye appealed to the Comptroller-General of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Kwame Takyi to prevail on his officials to treat Nigerians and other ECOWAS nationals with human face, caution and not as common criminals.
In his response, Kwame Takyi acknowledged the existing bilateral relationship between the two countries as earlier pointed by Abikoye.
He, however, said GIS had no choice but to act because of the conduct and behavior of some Nigerians in Ghana.
Takyi claimed that besides engaging in 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 directives from higher authorities for the arrests and eventual deportation of those who do not have the requisite immigration papers,” he added.
The CG, however, promised to investigate alleged torture of some Nigerians.