ABIDJAN (NAN) ―No fewer than 70 Nigerians are currently in detention in various prisons in Abidjan for different offences, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire, Ifeoma Akabogu-Chinwuba, said on Tuesday.
Akabogu-Chinwuba told the New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abidjan that an official list from the Ivorian prison authorities showed there were 85 Nigerians in detention.
“But during our last consular visit to the prisons in Abidjan, we were able to see about 70 of them instead of the 85 on the list.
“Majority of those on the list are awaiting trial, most of them are detained for charges bothering on drug, money-laundering and human trafficking,’’ she said.
The ambassador said the embassy was doing its part to provide legal assistance for those still standing trial to enable them get fair hearing.
“Our duty as an embassy is to protect the rights of our citizens. So, within the limits of the law, we are doing that,’’ she said.
Akabogu-Chinwuba called on Nigerians residing or doing business in Cote d’Ivoire to avoid being involved in acts capable of ridiculing Nigeria’s reputation.
“It is not a good testimony to hear that our citizens are in detention for criminal acts. We need to be good ambassadors of our country.
“As Nigerians, we need to engage in legitimate businesses. We need to protect the image of our country,’’ she said.