Home » Ndigbo Urges Federal Intervention for Nigerians in Benin Detention

Ndigbo Urges Federal Intervention for Nigerians in Benin Detention

Group Calls for Release of 5,000 Allegedly Illegally Detained in Benin Republic Prisons

by Adenike Adeodun

In a striking call for action, Ohaneze Ndigbo, a prominent Igbo socio-cultural organization, has urged the Federal Government, particularly through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), to intervene urgently in the case of over 5,000 Nigerians. These individuals, belonging to various tribes and religions, are reportedly held in illegal detention across 13 prisons in the Benin Republic.

This alarming situation, as alleged by the organization, reveals that many Nigerians and Africans who are involved in legitimate business activities in the Benin Republic are subjected to consistent harassment, torture, maltreatment, and, in some cases, modern-day slavery by local authorities.

Comrade Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, the National President General of the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), shared these concerning findings with journalists at a press conference in Abuja. According to him, an independent investigation by the organization revealed that the majority of the detainees, roughly 95%, are innocent and are either established business persons in the Benin Republic or individuals who were in the country for business purposes.

The investigation also unearthed a disturbing allegation of a ‘dirty deal’ between the governments of the Benin Republic and France. It is claimed that the Benin Republic government receives a daily sum of 45,000 CFA from the French government for each unlawfully arrested and detained individual. This arrangement might explain the increase in the illegal detention of foreigners, particularly Nigerians, at Akporo Misserete Prison.

Further findings suggest that prisoners are sometimes removed from the prison to undisclosed locations and remain unaccounted for. This has led to fears among the detainees of being used in human trafficking and organ harvesting activities.

Amidst these shocking revelations, the health, safety, and welfare of innocent Nigerians held in confinement are of paramount concern. Mr. Igboayaka emphasized the urgent need for a thorough investigation and appropriate actions to secure their freedom.

According to a report by The Guardian, he also highlighted allegations of innocent Nigerians, especially northerners, being arrested at the Nigeria-Benin Republic border and detained at the D’Akpro Misserete Prison on charges of terrorism. There are suspicions that some officials of the Benin Republic government are involved in using these detainees for illicit activities, including human trafficking and organ harvesting.

In response to these grave allegations, the Ohaneze Ndigbo youth leader has called for a comprehensive investigation by the DSS, NIDCOM, members of the National Assembly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other relevant stakeholders. This initiative aims to uncover more atrocities committed against Nigerians abroad, particularly in the Benin Republic.

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