Embassy plans to provide legal assistance to those awaiting trial.
No fewer than 70 Nigerians are currently facing trial in Abidjan for different offences.
This was disclosed by Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire, Ifeoma Akabogu-Chinwuba.
Ms. Akabogu-Chinwuba said in Abidjan on Tuesday that an official list from the prison authorities showed that there were 85 Nigerians in detention.
“But during our last consular visit to the prison 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 that 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.
Ms. Akabogu-Chinwuba called on Nigerians residing or doing business in Cote d’Ivoire, to avoid being involved in acts that would ridicule Nigeria’s reputation.
“It is not a good testimony to hear that our citizens are either in prison or detained 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.
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