The federal government will investigate Joseph Wowo, the Nigerian judge accused of corruption in Gambia, and will not defend the judge if found guilty.
This was disclosed on Thursday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gbenga Ashiru, while briefing the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, on the achievement of the ministry in the last two years.
“We believe in the rule of law and due process and that is what we do in Nigeria. In terms of judiciary, our Chief Justice is working round the clock to clean up.
“The case in The Gambia is being looked into. If there is any case of highhandedness, the Nigerian government will look into it and protect its interest. Where any government takes undue advantage over any Nigerians, we will defend Nigerians all over the world, especially where it is a case of victimization and injustice.
“Where a Nigerian wilfully wants to commit crime, he is on his own. We don’t support crime and indiscipline,” Mr. Ashiru said.
Mr. Wowo was dismissed as the Acting Chief Judge of Gambia after he was caught on tape demanding for bribe from a Dutch businessman, according to a report by PREMIUM TIMES.
9200 Nigerians serving prison terms abroad
Mr. Ashiru also said over 9,200 Nigerians are currently serving in various prisons abroad, with the largest number of 752 in the United Kingdom.
He said the number could be up to 9,500 because some of them had finished their jail terms and sneaked into the country without the knowledge of their families and the Nigerian authorities “because of the stigma.”
The minister said most of the remaining prisoners were concentrated in the Asia – Pacific region while a good number of them were on death row.
The minister stated that the Nigerian Government was already concluding Prisoners’ Trade Agreement (PTA) with all countries such as U.K., Thailand, Japan, China, Indonesia, Switzerland, South Africa, Mozambique, Angola and Hong Kong, so that Nigerians in prisons in those countries could be brought home to complete their prison terms.
He appealed to members of various groups and stakeholders to join hands in educating the youth to avoid engaging in drug trafficking and other social vices.
“I seize this opportunity to appeal to members of different groups, the media, civil societies, religious groups, traditional rulers, etc, to join hands in the education of our youths in an enlightenment campaign against trafficking in drugs, in particular, and other social vices in general. The assignment should not be left alone to government at different levels to handle,” the minister stated.
Billions sent from abroad
On the positive side, Mr Ashiru said that in 2012 alone, Nigerians in Diaspora repatriated about $16 billion to the country.
He restated the commitment of the Nigerian Government to reciprocate if the British Government should go ahead with its new visa policy.
“What we have done is to protest to the British Government to express our displeasure at any attempt to introduce it,” he said.
“We told the British Government that the policy is discriminatory and against the principles of Commonwealth of Nations. If the British should go ahead to implement it in November, Nigeria will take appropriate measures to protect her interest.”
On foreign investments, the minister said that the German private sector, with the support of the German government, was investing heavily in the power sector in Nigeria, adding that this was consequent on the Bilateral Agreement he signed with his German counterpart.
He listed the projects under the agreement to include the financial inflow of 65 million Euro for the 30 megawatts Kiri Dam in Adamawa; 50 million Euro for 20 megawatts Yola Solar Power Station; 1.5 billion Euro for the 450 megawatts Gombe coal to power station; and 8.2 million Euro for 5 to 10 megawatts solar power plants for six universities of Ibadan, Sokoto, Bayelsa, Yola and two others.
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