Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, yesterday disclosed that the Federal Government has sent a 2-man delegation to Indonesia to plead for mercy on behalf of 17 Nigerians sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug trafficking crimes.
Ashiru also urged Nigerians traveling abroad not to engage in criminal activity in the host countries, in view of the consequences of such on the image of Nigeria, as well as on their successful stay in such countries.
The Foreign Affairs minister said;
“What we have as the number of people on death row in Indonesia , which have been bandied around is not correct. I believe we have about 17 and we have been appealing to the government of Indonesia for clemency. We are still waiting. In fact, I have sent a delegation of two to go on tour of all the countries: Malaysia , Indonesia , China, where we are having Nigerians in prison. They have gone around to see to their welfare, to see to their problems, so we are concerned.
Ashiru added that Nigerian mission abroad also provide legal assistance for such Nigerians once they are charged to court.
“There is nothing the federal government can do if you are caught with drugs on your body, if you are taken to court our embassy officials will be there they will watch the proceedings.
“At times we even provide legal services and so on to defend you but by the time you are found guilty and sentenced to death, all we can do as a government is to appeal for clemency that is all we can do. It is left for the government to consent or not so my own position is that Nigerians should not carry drugs please, let us leave it in the past and start on a new beginning.” Ambassador Ashiru said