By Elizabeth Uwandu
The government of Ghana has deported about 723 Nigerians over offences such as illegal stay, cybercrime and prostitution.
However, Orient Energy Review Magazine gathered that Nigeria’s High Commissioner in Ghana, Michael Abikoye, who frowned at the deportation of Nigerians, on Tuesday said that the figure (723) is comprised of people who were deported between January 2018 and February 2019 for various offences.
Recall that about 36 years ago, Nigeria under President Shehu Shagari passed an executive order for immigrants without proper documents to leave the country or face prosecution. Consequently, the directive tagged “Ghana Must Go”had Ghanaians affected more.
Amb. Abikoye in a meeting with Comptroller-General of Ghana Immigration Service, Kwame Takyi, in Accra on Tuesday, noted that 81 Nigerians were deported for alleged cybercrime and illegal stay in January, while 115 have so far been deported in February on the allegation of overstay and prostitution.
Expressing displeasure that Nigerians were not being fairly treated, owing to some reported cases of molestation, harassment and torture of Nigerians by GIS officials, especially those awaiting deportation at the country’s detention facility, Abikoye said, “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 added.
Nigerian Ambassador to Ghana who stated that the inhuman act was against the United Nations Convention against Torture, appealled for expedite action in the early repatriation of Nigerians to their country immediately after the issuance of Emergency Travel Certificates.
Reacting to the appeal, Takyi said despite the bilateral relationship between the two countries, GIS had to carry out deportation because of the conduct of some Nigerian nationals in Ghana.
He alleged that aside 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 directive from higher authority for their arrests and eventual deportation of those who do not have the requisite immigration papers,” Takyi said.