Illegal stay: Govt decides to free 35 Nigerian prisoners

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 11:30:23 by


The government on Tuesday decided to release Nigerian nationals from prisons, who were detained in different jails for their illegal stay in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other cities.

An official from the foreign office requesting anonymity told The Express Tribune that the decision came after a formal request was made by the Nigerian authorities to Islamabad a few weeks ago.

“So far a few arrested Nigerians out of 35 have been released from the Rawalpindi prison, while the release of others was in process,” he said.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and police had arrested several African nationals including Nigerians for their illegal stay in different cities and carrying out subversive activities in the country.

Some of the alleged Nigerians were arrested after they were found smuggling drugs to Pakistan from African countries. However, a large number of them were detained after they were found guilty of illegal stay in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other cities.

According to the official, over 400 African nationals were sent to jails after they were convicted by courts and another large number of foreigners are still facing trials under the Foreigners Act.

He said that most of the arrested and detained prisoners are from Somalia, Uganda, Zambia, Sudan and Ethiopia. The official admitted that some of the illegal foreign immigrants were posing a serious internal security threat to the country.

He confirmed that a Nigerian national, identified as Kenechi Joseph, was arrested from Gawadar in November 2011 by security agencies on suspicions of being a foreign spy.

“He is still being interrogated by a joint interrogation team in the Quetta prison, as he has yet been able to produce travel documents,” he said.

“Though multiple steps have been taken to control the flow of foreign nationals by illegal means, the situation has not yet improved’’, the official added.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2013.

Quetta News Sources -2

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