A senior diplomat working at the Nigerian Embassy in Indonesia Abdul Rahman Ibrahim was unjustifiably harassed by immigration officers in the country last weekend for not possessing a visa, a group known as Stakeholders of Nigerians in Asia (SNA) has alleged.
In a communique released at the end of an emergency meeting on Tuesday, Coordinator of the SNA Kingsley Nwankwo said Ibrahim had gone out on shopping for his family when four officers, who had laid siege on his apartment, arrested him and demanded his travelling papers.
Ibrahim, however, told them that as a diplomat he did not use a visa and instead showed them his Diplomatic Identity Card, but the officers were not satisfied and asked that he follow them to their office, to which he obliged to avoid creating an unnecessary scene in the area.
“On their way, the officers ordered for a car with tinted glasses and Ibrahim told them politely that the car was not an official one. Yet, he agreed to follow them in it, thinking they were going to the Indonesian Immigration Head Office in Kuningan, Jakarta,” the statement said.
After driving for a while, Nwankwo said it became unclear to Ibrahim where he was being taken to and his attempt to call the attention of passersby infuriated the officers to assault and handcuff him.
“The development resulted in him sustaining a lot of injuries in the neck, hands, and chest,” the statement added.
The SNA through the communique titled, ‘The Continued Harassment, Intimidation and Unlawful Arrest of Nigerians in Asian Countries and The Need For President Muhammadu Buhari’s Urgent Intervention,’ joined other Nigerians to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to put an end to the growing xenophobic tendencies against Nigerians in the diaspora.
Nwankwo, who lamented that many Nigerians were currently languishing unjustly in many prisons across Asia, also urged the Nigerian government to urgently set up a high-powered delegation to examine the continued harassment of Nigerians in the region.
“We want the Nigerian government, especially the Minister of Foreign Affairs and President Muhammadu Buhari to write the Indonesian Government on the need to sanction the officers involved in the maltreatment of the Nigerian diplomat,” the group added.