The Nigerian government on Wednesday said it has secured the release of 60 Nigerians from Tanzanian prisons.

The 60 were among 73 Nigerians serving various jail terms in that country.

The government said arrangements were being made by the Nigerian ambassador to Tanzania for their repatriation.

Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head, Media and Public Relations Unit, Nigeria in the Diaspora Commission, in a statement said ever before COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigerian Mission had been working on repatriation of Nigerian prisoners in Tanzania.

He said the Ambassador, Dr Sahobi Gada, was in Nigeria in January 2020, specifically for this purpose after having successfully secured a release of 60 out of 73 Nigerians in various prisons in Tanzania.

“Arrangements were then being made by the Ambassador for their repatriation,” he said.

Balogun added that most of the convicts were arrested for alleged drug-related offences, while a few of the offences bordered on immigration law violations.

According to him, the mission had been visiting other custodial facilities in Tanzania to check other Nigerians who might be serving jail terms, saying that it had also canvassed for amnesty for the prisoners on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For each of the 73 Nigerians in the prison, the mission had paid 330, 000 shillings (N55,544) as court fees and was always represented in court. The mission had also successfully negotiated the repatriation of 60 prisoners,” he said.