Indonesia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Usra Harahap, who met with Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Monday told the minister that an assaulted Nigerian diplomat was to blame for the incident.
Mr Harahap said Ibrahim Abdulrahman was the aggressor during his encounter with some Indonesian immigration officers.
PREMIUM TIMES obtained a copy of Mr Harahap’s presentation to Mr Onyeama.
A viral video had showed at least three men in a vehicle assaulting Mr Abdulrahaman in front of his official residence in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Nigerian government promptly condemned the incident, describing it as “unacceptable and unfortunate.”
But at his meeting with Nigeria’s foreign minister on Monday, Mr Harahap did not acknowledge that Mr Abdulrahman was assaulted by Indonesian officers.
Instead, he said the immigration officers from South Jakarta Immigration Office were carrying out surveillance functions on foreigners. When they asked Mr Abdulrahman for identification, he refused to identify himself or tender his passport, the official said.
When they met with Mr Abdulrahman and politely requested him to show his travel document, “he answered that his passport was in his room.”
After being asked several times, Mr Harahap said, the Nigerian official was not willing to show his passport.
“Then you come with us to the office to check the travel document Sir, through our system. If nothing wrong are found concerning the passport and residence permit, we will not investigate further,” the immigration officers reportedly told Mr Abdulrahman.
And Mr Abdulrahman, who was reportedly angry, was reported to have said, “Just arrest me and you will regret to know who really I am.”
“You will know who really I am and be careful on that,” Mr Harahap quoted him as replying to the officers.
The officer reportedly said, “We will not detain you further Sir, if you can show us your identity card.” Then Mr Abdulrahman was quoted as saying, “Where is your car, I’ll come to your office.”
By the time the officer’s car arrive, the Nigerian diplomat requested to sit on the left side near the door and “the officers treated him as an ordinary foreigner without any intimidation and didn’t handcuff him, and didn’t hold anything in his body such as cellphones and other stuff that were in his clothes.”
On the way to the immigration office in South Jakarta, several incidents happened, Mr Harahap recalled.
“Abdulrahman elbowed the immigration officer, Mr. Laode Hauzan Baidi, who was sitting next to him until Mr. Laode’s lip was bleeding.
“This led to other officers restraining him from attacking another officer during the trip. However, Mr Abdulrahman kept on resisting and shouting until to the point where it required officers to hold and calm him down.
“The officers did this for the sake of security and safety as they were carrying out the Immigration Duties and Functions,” he said.
In the midst of the row, Mr Harahap added that the diplomat shouted he was a staff of the Nigerian embassy.
But due to the incident that happened in the car, “officers detained him when they arrived at the South Jakarta Immigration Office because he continued to attack the officers.”
The Indonesian envoy said the Nigerian diplomat showed his identity card during the investigation at the office.
Mr Harahap further said the problems of the two parties had been resolved with the achievement of a peace agreement witnessed by the Nigerian Ambassador to Indonesia, the Head of Section of Intelligence and Action for the South Jakarta Immigration Office, and the Ambassador’s Guard from the Police.
“There was also a police report made by the immigration officer who was injured, but it was not further processed because the issue was resolved amicably.
“I believe that you have received a report and information as well from the Nigerian Ambassador in Jakarta, and it might be different from my report to Your Excellency,” Mr Harahap told Mr Onyeama during their meeting.
There is no official account, yet, of the incident from Nigeria’s foreign ministry as of press time.
But a spokesperson for the ministry, Esther Sunsuwa, in an interview with The PUNCH newspaper said, “The Federal Government will make its position known after consulting with the recalled Nigerian envoy expected to arrive in the country along with Abdulrahman on Thursday.”
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