No fewer than 70 Nigerians currently serving in various prisons across Thailand will soon be repatriated to the country to complete their prison terms, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Thailand, Chudi Okafor, has said.
Speaking in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria from Bangkok, Okafor said talks on prisoners transfer between both countries were still ongoing in spite of military take over in Thailand in May.
NAN reports that Nigeria and Thailand were currently implementing a Prisoner Transfer Agreement, which has seen the repatriation of about 400 Nigerian prisoners since 2008.
Okafor said: “The last repatriation of convicted Nigeria prisoners was in October 1 and October 2, 2012 and now the process is still on and we are compiling the list with the state authorities here.
“We envisage that sooner than later, the next batch of Nigerian prisoners would be sent home.”
The envoy said there were still over 500 Nigerians in Thai prisons, many of them imprisoned on drug-related offences.
He advised intending Nigerian visitors to Thailand to ensure that they had genuine business to do in the East Asian country.
Okafor said: “Don’t jump into a plane because you have a ticket to come to Thailand and also our parents should ensure that their children don’t travel needlessly, particularly to countries in Asia.”
On the military take over of government inThailand, Okafor said Nigeria still maintained strong and cordial relations with the East Asian country.
He said: “We don’t have to dabble into their internal process.
“As a country, we wish they settle their challenges peacefully and return to democracy according to their own internal process.”