INDIA: 11 Indians Languishing In Nigeria Jail For Over 1 Year
NEW DELHI: As many as 11 Indians are languishing in a jail in Nigeria for over one year after they set foot in the West African country where their ship docked enroute to Cameroon from Ghana.
The matter was brought to the notice of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj by Ritabrata Banerjee, a Rajya Sabha MP from West Bengal. In a letter to Swaraj on Tuesday, which ET has accessed, Banerjee wrote that these 11 Indians joined as employees on a merchant ship in Ghana in October 2013 to work in various capacities. The ship thereafter left Ghana for Cameroon but was forced to dock at Port of Brass in Nigeria due to technical trouble.
The Nigerian Navy arrested the 11 Indians on July 25 last year and handed them over to Economic Financial Crime Commission and allegedly put fake charges against these Indians after they reportedly failed to pay bribe, according to Banerjee.
The letter by the MP claimed that Attorney General of Nigeria was not informed of the arrest and two Indians were also allegedly bashed up in Nigerian jail following which their legs were fractured. These Indians have also not received date from the Court on their case.
The MP has appealed to Swaraj to use her good offices to secure release of the Indians. Among those arrested Indians are two engineers, cooks, cadet and welders among others.