At least 102 Nigerians are in different prisons in Chad, the Nigerian Embassy in the nation said on Friday, February 8th.

The nation which has become one of the places for Nigerians to run to in the heat of Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria, also houses some Nigerians in jails.

The Embassy of Nigeria in Chad says no fewer than 102 Nigerians are in the country’s prisons, serving varying jail terms.

Charge d’Affaires in the embassy, Mr Nasiru Waje, told some Nigerian journalists in N’djamena on a working visit to Chad that the inmates, some of whom had not been convicted, were in various prisons across Chad.

Waje, however, stated that 39 of the prisoners had regained freedom following the intervention of the embassy.

He said that the Nigerians were held for various offences, including smuggling and attempting to use routes in Chad to enter Europe.

The envoy also said that 8,000 persons who fled communities in the North-East due to persisting Boko Haram crises, were in Chad and had been registered as refugees.

He said that additional 5,000 victims of the insurgency were registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR).

There were many other unregistered refugees also in Chad, from Yobe.

Waje said that Nigeria and Chad had very cordial relationship, stemming from their linguistic, religious and cultural closeness “and existing feeling of oneness among their border communities.”

He added that both countries had five agreements which he noted had strengthened the relationship.

According to him, the agreements are: Security Co-operation Agreement, Bilateral Trade Agreement, Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, Bilateral Air Service Agreement and Waiver of Residence Permit Payment for their nationals.

“All the agreements have helped in stimulating development in both countries.

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“For instance, Chad has granted permit to Nigeria, based on the security agreement, to pursue fleeing criminals from Nigeria into the country, and Nigeria has also granted same permit to the Chadian Government.

“It has helped to reduce or eliminated havens of criminals in both countries.

“The waiver on payment of residence permit has encouraged more Nigerians to come into Chad and it is also encouraging increased marriages between nationals of both countries,” he said.

The envoy told reporters that the air agreement had led to Chad Airline and Maersk Airline deciding to fly Nigeria’s route.

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