SomaliPress.com

'500 Nigerians in Swiss Prisons'

Published on Saturday 17th July 2010

NO fewer than 500 Nigerians are currently serving jail terms for various offences in Switzerland. Also, 1,800 others are living and working legitimately in that country while 1,600 seek asylum annually.

Meanwhile, following the outcry that trailed the death of a 29-year-old Nigerian at the Zurich airport while being deported by the government of Switzerland, the Swiss government has announced new measures to deal with deportees and to avert a recurrence of the unfortunate tragedy.

Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Migration, Mr. Alard Du Bois-Reymond, who disclosed these in Abuja after a meeting with the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Martin Uhomoibhi, said as part of the new measures, a medical doctor will be detailed to be on all flights of repatriation while the health status of deportees would be ascertained before every deportation

The Swiss official further revealed that an autopsy carried out on the deceased showed that he had a serious heart condition which was not detected earlier.

He said the Swiss government believed that the issue of migration was very important to the relations between Nigeria and Switzerland and the two countries would explore ways of strengthening the collaboration.

Speaking on monies allegedly kept in Swiss bank accounts by corrupt Nigerian leaders, he assured Nigerians that as soon as the court case involving Abacha was disposed off, what was left of the Abacha loot would be returned to Nigeria.

"There has been some $400 million of the Abacha money that has been returned. The case of Mr. Abacha is almost complete. When the court process is completed, the (remaining) money will be returned," he said.

Earlier, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Martin Uhomoibhi, said Nigeria and the Swiss government were at the verge of signing a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, on migration issues.

"Our discussions have centred on migration partnership. We are close to reaching a consensus on the MoU on migration. We also talked about the death of the young Nigerian who died in Zurich airport and they assured us that new measures have been put in place to ensure that this does not happen again. The death of one human being is one death too many," the permanent secretary said.

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