By Daniel Idonor
THE Presidency yesterday dismissed claims by the House of Representatives that Nigerians were among the alleged 230 black Africans awaiting secret execution in Libya; and blamed the report on poor internet service.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, said the motion was based on false and unreliable internet sources.
He stated that â€œthe motion in the House of Representatives was probably based on a discredited internet story that about 230 black Africans, mostly Nigerians, were about to be secretly executed by the Libyan authorities last weekend.
â€œI can assure you there was no such thing. I have a copy of a very detailed 32-page report compiled by the Nigerian Ambassador in Libya dated July 13 this year on Nigerians currently having issues with the Libyan authorities. From the report, there are 14 Nigerians on death row for such offences as murder, drugs, armed robbery and â€˜419â€™ and diplomatic efforts are on to secure reprieve for this people,â€ he said.
The presidential spokesman noted â€œthe negotiations are not easy. The list contains their names, location of prisons where they are being held, dates of sentence and their states of origin in Nigeria
According to him, â€œfrom the document, there are also 57 Nigerians currently serving life sentence for offences like Alcohol, fake currency, drugs, robbery and fightingâ€; adding that â€œthe list of Nigerians awaiting trials are 587 persons with the same statistics and diplomatic efforts are on to ensure that at least those with immigration issues are released so they could be repatriated back home,â€ Adeniyi said.
He however lamented the unfriendly posture of the Libyan authorities towards the Nigerian government but added that efforts were in top gear to resolve all issues.