A Former Edo State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero, has lamented that over 300 Nigerians are said to be languishing in Italian prisons for alleged crimes with no evidence of proof of guilt.
The former Commissioner disclosed this during a visit to the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NiDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa at her office in Abuja.
Osaze who spent 18 months in Italian prison for an offence he claimed not to have committed, said his case was as a result of racial discrimination and manipulation of the Italian justice system, and not the offence that was alleged against him.
“I was alleged to be a Mafia kingpin and on that course was detained, upon demand for evidence, a manual called the ‘Green Bible’ was presented which was obviously forged”, he said. Adding that some Nigerians have been sentenced to 140 years imprisonment for the same Nigerian mafia accusation, citing article 416b of Italian Mafia law.
The Former Commissioner, said he has structured out plans to lead a peaceful protest for the release of other innocent Nigerians illegally detained in Italian prisons, seeking the Federal Government’s intervention.
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa empathized with Mr. Osemwegie-Ero on his ordeal and assured that justice will be served for others who are wrongly accused.
The NiDCOM boss further gave assurances that no Nigerian will be punished for an unjust cause.
The Chairman further stated that the Commission will take the case up to the office of the Attorney General, as the numbers are alarming, adding that the Attorney General has handled several cases of such with Nigerians in the Diaspora.