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400 Nigerian prisoners in Turkey want Jonathan’s intervention

ABOUT 400 Nigerians locked away in various jails in Turkey have expressed hope that President Goodluck Jonathan, who is expected in the country, on Tuesday, would press the Turkish authorities to review their cases, saying that most of them believe that they were being held unjustly.

The prisoners said many of them were not given fair hearing before they were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment, because they could not put up good defence for themselves  due to language barrier.
According to a Nigerian official who did not want to be named, all attempts to get the authorities of Turkey to review the cases and free the innocent ones had, so far, failed.

The source told the Nigerian Tribune in Ankara, on Sunday, that the Nigerian community in the Turkish capital would be presenting the case to Jonathan, in the hope that he would discuss it with his hosts.
It was learnt, however, that the matter had already been brought to the notice of the president, who, it was learnt, would discuss it with his Turkish counterpart, Abdu-llah Gul, during a bilateral session on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, all arrangements to host Jonathan for the three-day official visit have been concluded.

He is scheduled to hold a bilateral session with his Turkish counterpart, where a number of agreements on various sectors of the economy were expected to be reached between the two countries.

According to programme already worked out by the Turkish authorities, the president will arrive Ankara, the capital of the country and welcome by Gul before inspecting a guard of honour mounted by members of the Turkish armed forces.

While in Ankara, he is expected to visit a number of places of interest including notable historical landmarks important to both Christians and Muslims before visiting a naval dockyard and industrial areas in Instanbul.
Apart from Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president will also parley with other notable politicians in the country including the Speaker of the National Assembly of Turkey who is expected to pay the president a courtesy visit.    

Officials of the Nigerian Embassy Ankara, led by Ambassador Ahmed Abdulhamid are also ready to receive the president as they have put in place all necessary arrangements to make the visit successful.

-Tribune

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