Over 200 Nigerians inmates in Nsawan Medium Prison in Ghana have appealed to the Nigerian government to urgently fast-tract the process for the signing of Prison Transfer Agreement between Nigeria and Ghana to enable them complete their prison term in Nigeria.
They made the appeal during the visit of Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Olufemi Michael Abikoye, to the prison located in the eastern region of the country. According to a statement by Nigeria High Commission, there are about 359 Nigerians in various prisons in the ten regions of Ghana. Out of the number, 278 are convicts while 181 are on reminds and pre-trials for offences ranging from drug trafficking, human trafficking, armed robbery, stealing among other crimes.
The Nigerian inmates in Nsawan prison complained of discriminatory high prison terms between 50 and 105 years meted on some of them by the Ghanaian Judiciary. They appealed to the Federal Government to take the matter with the Ghanaian government. They acknowledged the gesture of the Federal Government with regards to their welfare.
The Nigerian High Commission noted that the Ghanaian prison authorities have commended Nigerians in Ghanaian prisons, to be of good behaviour. Some of them hold leadership positions in the prisons and also engage in formal education, carpentry, weaving, tailoring and other activities organised in the prisons.
As part of effort to respond to the appeal made by the Nigerian inmates, Nigeria’s High Commission wants the Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation between Nigeria and Ghana to liaise with the Attorney General and Solicitor General of Nigeria to fast-tract the process of the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Prison Transfer between the two countries.
A draft MoU was agreed upon during the 7th Session of the Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation with a view to facilitate the exchange of prisoners between the two countries. Nigeria High Commission believes that the delay in signing the agreement could create frustrations among the Nigerian inmates which could degenerate into security concerns and unpleasant consequences in Ghanaian prisons.