Mohammed Rimi, Nigerian ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, says 446 Nigerians are currently serving different terms in the UAE prisons. Rimi broke the news during President Muhammadu Buhari’s town-hall meeting with Nigerians in the Emirates on Tuesday.
The ambassador said the 446 Nigerians are serving different jail terms for crimes ranging from possession of hard drugs to engaging in robbery.
“Although there is no exact record of our citizens in the UAE, owing to the inability to register them on arrival, the number of Nigerians resident in the country is estimated at about 10,000. Out of this number, about 2,017 are students in various universities,” he said.
“It is disheartening to state that 446 Nigerians are currently serving different terms in prisons across UAE on account of committing various crimes including possession and consumption of hard drugs and engagement in armed robbery.”
Rimi also said in the spirit of forgiveness, tolerance and accommodation, the UAE government granted amnesty to all irregular residents in the country.
“In 2018, 5,774 standard passport were issued by the embassy, out of which, 3,164 were specifically issued during the amnesty programme. Further 1,346 emergency traveling certificates were issued to Nigerians to facilitate their return home,” he said.
He added that 5,021 Nigerians were granted amnesty to enable them live and pursue their legitimate businesses in the Emirates.