Some Nigerians in Bangladesh, a country in South Asia, have raised the alarm over “illegal arrest”.
In a letter sent, Gideon Onyeoma, a representative of the Nigeria Community Association in Bangladesh (NCAB), said security operatives in the country have illegally arrested over 70 Nigerians since June.
He added that the arrested persons have neither been granted bail nor charged to court.
Onyeoma explained that some of the arrested persons had travelled to Bangladesh to purchase clothing materials but were unable to return to Nigeria due to the coronavirus pandemic which led to a lockdown.
“Since the month of June 2020, more than seventy Nigerians have been arrested by the security operatives in Bangladesh with no evidence and with no proper chance for bail,” the letter read.
|Some Nigerians affected by the situation|
“In the month of July 2020, the police operatives went to arrest a Nigerian suspect and forced him to take them to where many Nigerians live. After taking them to the firm of a Nigerian around the area, thinking that he will be saved, thy still didn’t release him. They arrested all the 15 men they found in the office.
“These men all came from Nigeria legally to Bangladesh earlier in 2020, before the pandemic started, to buy garments products to be sent home but because of the pandemic and the lockdown they couldn’t travel back.”
The association said the Bangladesh police made subsequent arrests of Nigerians, including Frank Jacob, the community’s president.
The arrested person are said to be in jail while their passports have been seized over allegations of false Bangladesh visas.
“It is very hard for Nigerians to renew or extend their visas in Bangladesh before or towards the expiration of their visas, but it is not the same case for other nationals,” the letter read.
“To make matters worse, whenever our people are arrested, the police will invite the media houses (print and electronic), they will take pictures and videos of the suspects and start showing and writing that they are criminals even when the court has not made any pronouncement. This is the biggest threat to our security in the land.
“When that is done, you automatically lose many things like your apartment and everything inside and your office, then you will face attacks by the people on the street.
“The Nigerians who have registered business are losing it gradually. The community president’s restaurant has been branded as a meeting point for Nigerians, and this made his landlord to lock up the place for months, accruing lots of losses for the owner.”
The Nigerian community called on the federal government to review its relationship with the South Asian country and initiate actions in defense of its citizens.
When contacted AbdulRahman Balogun, spokesman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) said that he is not aware of the situation in Bangladesh.
“I am not aware of it until I see a copy of that letter. Most times, those letters go to chairman and our legal unit to investigate. Maybe I will investigate tomorrow,” he said.
“I can’t be aware if I haven’t seen a letter complaining about it. I am not aware.”
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