Approximately seven hundred and twenty-three (723) Nigerians have been deported from Ghana within the last 12 months, according to statistics from the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana.
The Nigerians, who were deported for involvement in unlawful acts such as prostitution, cybercrime and illegal residence were usually harassed, molested and tortured by officials of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), the Mission revealed.
Lately, there have been reports of persistent harassment and intimidation of Nigerian travelers at the Aflao border. Commuters were regularly marched to the Immigration office, interrogated and asked to produce their Resident Permit. Persons without proof of residence were detained, Daily Trust can confirm.
There was a case a few weeks ago, some Nigerians travelling on a bus operated by a popular Nigerian transport service, were seized from the vehicle, detained at the Aflao border for days before they were sent back to the country.
Their offence, according to the Ghana Immigration at the border was illegal entry into the country.
Alarmed by recent happenings, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Olufemi Abikoye has protested to the Comptroller-General of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Mr. Kwame Asuah Takyi.
Abikoye, while on a visit to the Ghanaian Immigration chief, had complained about the spate of deportation of Nigerians over prostitution and cybercrime, even as he argued that illegal stay should not constitute a reason for expulsion, by virtue of the existing ECOWAS protocol on free movement of community citizens within the sub-region.
The Nigerian envoy further complained of the inhuman treatment some of them were subjected to by Ghanaian officials, citing several cases of harassment, intimidation, torture and sub-human treatment meted out on the deportees.
Acknowledging the United Nations convention against torture and inhuman treatment of other persons, he urged the Comptroller-General to properly advice his officials against subjecting Nigerians and ECOWAS citizens to such dehumanizing acts.
The Ghanaian Immigration chief defended the deportation of Nigerians, blaming it on the involvement of some Nigerians in criminal acts.
For instance, he alleged that several Nigerians in the country were engaged in prostitution and cybercrime, hence they were expelled from the country.
Takyi further alleged that some Nigerians were unruly. They usually blocked major streets of Ghana, where they drink, fight and stab themselves.