Published On: Mon, Jul 8th, 2013

400 Nigerians Languish in Chinese Jails for Drug Related Offences

Nigerian Embassador to China ALhaji Aminu Wali

JULY 8TH (URHOBOTODAY) There are currently no fewer than 400 Nigerians serving terms in various jails in China, Nigerian Ambassador to China, Aminu Wali, has said.
Mr. Wali also disclosed that 80 per cent of the prisoners committed drug related offences. He also said about 80 per cent of the crimes committed by Africans were committed by Nigerian citizens.
The Ambassador was speaking in an interactive session with journalists in Beijing, on Monday ahead of President Goodluck Jonathan’s state visit to the People’s Republic of China beginning on Tuesday.

“We certainly have big issues with drug related crimes committed by Nigerians in China and when you look at the whole of Africa you find out that about 80 percent of all the offences and crimes committed by Africans in China about 80 percent is committed by Nigerians; that is why I think we are having running battle to try and control the situation.
“But we need assistance from back home, from the security agencies manning our exits and entry points in Nigeria to be more alert and vigilant to make sure these type of individuals do not escape and pass through our routes to come into, not only to China but any other country in the world because drug trafficking as it were, drug is the biggest problem that we have as far as Nigerians are concerned,” he said.
Mr. Wali further said that a lot of the Nigerian prisoners don’t come to China with Nigerian passports.
“A lot of them don’t come in with their real names so sometimes with difficulties we only know when they are taken prisoners or they are sentenced and they are looking for consular visits. And of course if a Nigerian comes with the Ghanaian or Malawian passport and the Malawian consular goes there, he says no that is not from my country and eventually they now have to revert to us. We have to go and confirm these are Nigerians and then of course we take over and we give them necessary support,” he said.
The ambassador said the federal government and the National Assembly should take action to support the efforts to help Nigerians in distress abroad; and at the same time support the embassies outside to “give more consular support to Nigerian prisoners or Nigerians who find themselves not only in prisons but in that strange difficulties in the host countries.”
He said Embassy staff sometimes contribute money among themselves to help Nigerians in distress in China and that not all the Nigerians in prison or in distress in China are criminals.
“They may not be criminals, they come in, misfortune befell them and nowhere to turn to except they come to the embassy. And when they come to the embassy as a Nigerian they feel at home so we ought to be able to see what we can do to assist and sometimes out of sympathy, if we have to chip in, we make contributions from all Nigerian members of the embassy to help them and quite often this is the case,” he said.
Mr. Wali added that there were many Nigerians in China, who work hard at their businesses, are creative with it and are successful at it, saying “unfortunately good things don’t travel that fast but bad things make big bang.”
He said the Nigerian government needs to do more to encourage young people to feel secured in Nigeria and not have the urge to travel out and engage in illegal activities to make money.
Source; Premium Times

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