The Chairman of the Committee, Abike Dabiri, quoting reliable sources in Libya have confirmed that between thirty two and forty Nigerians have already been summarily executed in Tripoli in the last one week, while about 200 are facing the death penalty for violating Libya’s immigration laws. update below
These Nigerians are death row in Tripoli, the Libyan capital city.
When Elombah.com broke the news that the Libyan authorities have been killing illegal aliens in batches since last week, among them over 200 Nigerians, for entering the country without valid documents, many Nigerians made spirited effort to verify the story.
Official channels to the Nigerian Embassy in Tripoli said the story was false, while the Libya consulate in other countries decried the news as false.
But yesterday the House of Representatives, raised alarm over 10 Nigerians executed in Libya this week, with another 200 on the death row from today in Tripoli, the Libyan capital city for violating immigration laws.
Briefing the press in Abuja, Chairman, House Committee on Special Duties, Samson Osagie, said that he got the information from some Nigerians living in Libya under the aegis of ‘Edo global’ via an e-mail letter sent to him.
According to him, “I am worried over the lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Government, but I want Nigerians to rise to the occasion by rescuing the lives of Nigerians who are being maltreated by the Libyan authorities for allegedly gaining entry into the country illegally.
We call on our government, as a matter of urgency, to mobilise all relevant agencies to begin diplomatic negotiations with Libya.
It is the primary responsibility of government to protect its citizens anywhere in the world and the doctrine of citizen diplomacy has no better time than now
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Diaspora has called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intervene to save the lives of the two hundred inmates of Africa origin, most of them Nigerians on death row from an impending execution in Libya.
This is very shocking to say the least, bearing in mind that Libya has professed a pan African vision and her leader, Muammar Gaddafi, is the current chairman of the African Union (AU).
It is disheartening and shocking that Muammar Gaddafi who has always postured as having a passion for African Unity will not only allow Africans to be deemed illegal aliens in his country, but mete out such a cruel, inhumane and unusual punishment (death penalty) for a mere violation of immigration laws.
Update from OLUSEGUN ADENIYI, SPECIAL ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT (MEDIA & PUBLICITY) in response to our stories:
The motion in the House of Representatives that has become the “proof” for this renewed campaign was probably based on the same discredited internet story that about 230 black Africans, mostly Nigerians, were about to be secretly executed by the Libyan authorities last weekend. I can assure you there was no such thing.
I have a copy of a very detailed 32-page report compiled by the Nigerian Ambassador in Libya dated July 13 this year on Nigerians currently having issues with the Libyan authorities.
From the report, there are 14 Nigerians on death row for such offences as murder, Drugs, armed robbery and ‘419’ and diplomatic efforts are on to secure reprieve for them though nothing is easy where Libya is concerned. The list contains their names, location of prisons where they are being held, dates of sentence and their states of origin in Nigeria. From the document, there are also 57 Nigerians currently serving life sentence for offences like Alcohol, fake currency, drugs, robbery and fighting and it also has all the vital details.
On the list of Nigerians awaiting trials are 587 persons with the same statistics and diplomatic efforts are on to ensure that at least those with immigration issues are released so they could be repartriated back home.
OLUSEGUN ADENIYI, SPECIAL ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT (MEDIA & PUBLICITY)
Nigerians still wait for a strong official response from Nigerian authorities. Up till this evening, Guardian Newspapers is still running this story which was kicked off by Nigerians on the internet.
If the government was unwilling to respond based on internet reports, what is preventing them now that the regular media and the Legislators have joined the campaign?
My reluctance to take at face value official reaction to these stories is because of my decades of experience dealing with Nigerians that have the unfortunate experience of living in foreign lands illegally. The case of Libya I will say –for lack of a better expression- is pathetic.
That is why I view with caution anything less than OFFICIALstatement backed up with testimony from outside the normal official channels.
It is difficult for Nigerian Officials in Libya to admit to harsh treatment of Nigerians that are in Libya ILLEGALLY. Such officials are reluctant to come their aid, even In Europe.
Hundreds of Nigerians have been shot and killed in cold blood in Libya. Hundreds have been driven to the hot desert and left to die. Hundreds of Nigerians and other Africans have been deliberately drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.
I have personally interviewed a Nigerian that escaped from Libya gulags in 1999; he had a sorry story to tell.
Titus was captured by Libya police in 1998. He was arraigned for drug trafficking. In fact, it was this charge of drug trafficking that saved his life, for here, the Libya officials had an offence for which to charge him.
After months in detention, Titus was arraigned in court. However, because the exhibit-the wrapped drug- disappeared in custody, he was discharged but not released.
Eventually, an official from Nigerian embassy in Libya visited the prison on behalf of dozens of Nigerians in detention and Titus and others was released.
But that was not the end of the story. Titus was captured again while trying to borrow money to fund his way back to Nigeria. He and other captured Africans were hoarded in a truck and were promised that they will be driven to a place where they could get transport to Nigeria.
Out there in the desert, he and others were told to dismount and start running. They got suspicious and as they made their way to escape, the Libyans opened fire and mowed them down. What saved Titus was the guy behind him was shot, as he felled Titus felled too and laid low, the dead body shielded Titus until the Libyan gunmen stopped shooting and returned to Libya.
Titus wandered for days until rescued by a passing caravan. As Titus told this story, he was just a bag of bones.
Up till this day, another Nigerian that escaped from Libya, Jehu, is still sheltered in Algeria