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Nigerian Bizmen trapped in Hong Kong cells

Posted by Idowu Samuel, Abuja on 2007/02/27 | Views: 1186 |

Nigerian Bizmen trapped in Hong Kong cells


The Nigerian government will need to come to the rescue of about 22 Nigerian business men who are currently languishing in the police cells at Bangkok, Hong Kong having been allegedly robbed of their traveling tickets to Lagos by an Ethiopian Airline.

The Nigerian government will need to come to the rescue of about 22 Nigerian business men who are currently languishing in the police cells at Bangkok, Hong Kong having been allegedly robbed of their traveling tickets to Lagos by an Ethiopian Airline.

The businessmen had left the shores of Nigeria to Hong Kong boarding the Airline at different times between November and December 2006, only to encounter problems on the dates of their return, the Airline, having allegedly sold their tickets at higher prices and handed them to the police at Bangkok.

A Nigerian businessman, Chief Picollo Imoh who had reportedly fallen victim of the trick by the Airline and managed to find his way back to Lagos had petitioned the federal government to urgently rescue the Nigerians who are being unjustly detained at Bangkok for committing no crime.

The petitioner in his account had bided to travel to Bangkok, Hong Kong in November 24 for a business trip, while he was scheduled to return to Lagos on December 10, 2006.

At Bangkok however, he attempted to reconfirm his return ticket to Nigeria on November 28 only to be told that his seat in the Airline had been taken.

Imoh not satisfied with the reply, went to the Airport to present his ticket to the official of the Ethiopia Airline who in turn reaffirmed to him that his seat in the plane had been taken on the excuse that "the computer rubbed off" his name, even as he was advised to wait for the next 30 minutes.

According to the petitioner, while he was waiting as directed, "we met two other Nigerians who were already stranded at the Airport and fuming at the maltreatment meted to them by the Ethiopian Airline officials. He said the two Nigerians told him that the Airline officials had sold their ticket at a higher price to different customers.

The petitioner reported that the two Nigerians thereafter called the attention of the immigration officials at the Airport to the problems created by the Airline officials to them, adding that the immigration officials subsequently descended on them with physical assaults after conferring with the Airline officials.

The immigration officials also arrested Imoh, seized his mobile phone and the cash in his possession, while they also assaulted him physically before sending him to police detention at Bangkok.

He said the immigration officials told him that he had no business staying back at Bangkok after the Ethiopian Airline officials sold his seat, while he was kept at an underground cell which he said has only a toilet with no bathroom.

Imoh in his petition said he met 22 other Nigerians who had been suffering in the poorly ventilated cell for several weeks on similar ordeal they were put into allegedly by the officials of the Airline.

He said all the efforts he had made on returning to Nigeria to make the Airline atone for the maltreatments against him had met with failures, as according to him, the Airline claimed ignorance of the ordeals that he faced at Hong Kong, despite presenting documentary evidence.

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