25 Nigerians on death row in Libya
From JULIANA TAIWO just back from Tripoli Libya
Monday, December 06, 2010
There are 25 Nigerians on death row in Libya prisons and a lot more on the awaiting trial list. The Charge de Affairs Nigerian Embassy Tripoli Libya, Alhaji Abubakar Lemu disclosed this in an interview with Daily Sun in Libya. He said the Nigerian government in consultation with their state governors were doing everything possible to have them (those awaiting trail) returned through the prisoners exchanged programme.
While regretting that the illegal entry through porous borders to Libya has continued to give Nigeria a bad name, Lemu pleaded with the Nigerian government to stop Nigerians from leaving their more lucrative jobs to become labourers and criminals in Libya. According to him, ?thankfully, there is a programme by the Federal Ministry of Information (Rebranding). We hope Nigerians will listen and take to heart the messages embdedded therein. Nigerians must realise that there is no greener pasture anywhere except your country.
?Some of these countries they risk their lives to travel to do not have anything spectacular about them, but because of lack of information and education, you find a lot of Nigerians leaving their very lucrative businesses or resigning from their jobs with comfortable salaries in Nigeria to become labourers in Tripoli.
The Libyans throw things at them and treat them in a very inhuman way but you cannot complain because you must survive. ?Figures of condemned Nigerians on death row in Libyan prison are 25. Our government is aware and most of them we have interviewed have given the addresses of their next of kin in Nigeria. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has directed after consultation with some of the governors where the condemned prisoners come from-Abia, Delta, Edo and Lagos-that we make plans to exchange them through the prisoners exchange programme.
?Some of those interviewed are hiding their true identity because they are ashamed of what they have done and do not want their families to find out. We have got legal representaion for those awaiting trial. The legal firm is advising on how we can go about prisoners exchange.? Lemu explained that the only way these prisoners can be exchanged is when they get the families they have commited crime against to forgive them.
?For instance, there is a law in Libya, if a person commits murder, the family of the person murdered must forgive the murderer or demand for blood money for compensation. Once this is done and a written agreement obtained, the murderer is free to go else he will face the consequences,? he said.
The Charge d?Affairs also assured that the diplomatic rift between the two countries have been settled and normal diplomatic ties will soon resume at the highest level of ambassadorship, with the Libyan government beginning consular activities in Abuja to ease visa application processes.