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Indonesia apologised — but FG has demanded sanctions against officials who assaulted Nigerian diplomat Onyeama

Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, says the federal government has demanded sanctions against Indonesian officials who assaulted a Nigerian diplomat recently.

The diplomatic agent, simply identified as Ibrahim, was reportedly accosted by the Indonesian police when he went to a supermarket.

In a video that has since gone viral, the man can be heard shouting “I can’t breathe”, as he was being held down in a vehicle by several men.

The federal government subsequently wrote a letter to the Indonesian government to protest the assault, after the video was circulated on social media.

Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, in an earlier statement, had said the Indonesian ambassador to Nigeria has apologised over the assault.

The Nigerian Government has complained strongly to the Government of Indonesia, and the Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria was summoned by the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs,” he said.

The Ambassador explained what he understood happened and apologised unreservedly on behalf of the Government of Indonesia.

“The Ambassador of Nigeria to Indonesia has confirmed that the immigration officials involved had since come to the Nigerian Embassy to apologise to the Ambassador and the diplomat concerned.”

Speaking further on the development at a media briefing on Tuesday, Onyeama said the federal government demanded that the officials involved be sanctioned.

Onyeama said Usra Harahap, Indonesian ambassador to Nigeria, was summoned over the incident, while Usman Ogah, Nigerian ambassador to Indonesia, has been recalled.

The first thing the ministry did was to request that the ambassador submits to the ministry a full and comprehensive report of what happened, and to immediately reach the ministry of foreign affairs of Indonesia to lodge a formal and a strong complaint against the actions of the immigration officers as their action violated the Vienna Convention,” he said.

The following day, which was Monday, we summoned the ministry of foreign affairs, the ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria and again, complained in the strongest terms regarding what had taken place as totally unacceptable under any circumstances whatsoever.

He, of course, communicated the report that he had received from his capital as to what had transpired. And later yesterday, in the evening, we received a full and comprehensive report from the Nigerian ambassador in Indonesia.

We have studied the report and reinforced our previous position that there was absolutely no justification whatsoever for this treatment for this kind of behaviour against not only a diplomat, a Nigerian diplomat, but even if it had taken place against any Nigerian citizen, was totally unacceptable.

So, what we have decided to do is to recall for consultations immediately, our Nigerian ambassador in Jakarta, Indonesia, and we will have full consultations at the highest level and decide what next step to take, including a review, of course, of our relations with Indonesia.

We have also requested the Indonesian government to take severe and appropriate sanctions against the immigration officials that were involved in this act of brazen criminality.

We call on you all to be patient and calm as we get fully to the bottom of this for our ambassador to arrive and for consultations to take place and we assure you that an appropriate response will be forthcoming.”


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