The Federal Government has taken steps to address the reported arrest and manhandling of a Nigerian diplomat serving in Jakarta, Indonesia, as the Nigerian Ambassador to the Asian country, Usman Ogah, is set to return home for consultations on the issue.
The move was coming after the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, summoned the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Usra Hendra Harahap, to express the displeasure of the government over the development even as the Nigerian government said it will review diplomatic relations with the country.
The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria has tendered an apology over the incident and assured that authorities in his home country will take steps to address the issue.
Briefing journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, Onyeama said that when the ministry noticed the video of the diplomat who was being restrained by his neck by Indonesian immigration officers in a moving car on social media, it immediately contacted the Ambassador in Indonesia who gave a verbal account of what transpired.
The Minister added that the envoy confirmed that the video was indeed of a Nigerian diplomat in Indonesia and apparently the illegal action took place during a round-up by Indonesian immigration officials while searching for irregular and illegal migrants in the country.
He further said the ministry immediately requested that the ambassador submit 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 Indonesian immigration officers.
He stressed that the action of the immigration officers was a clear breach of the Vienna Convention, adding that it was an act of egregious international delinquency.
“The following day, yesterday (Monday), we summoned to 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, which we have studied and reinforces our previous position that there was absolutely no justification whatsoever for this treatment for this kind of behaviour against not only to 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, in 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,” Onyeama said.
The Nigerian government also requested that the Indonesian government take severe and appropriate sanction against the immigration officials that were involved in the act of brazen criminality.
The Ministry also assured that all the necessary steps will be taken to rigorously and robustly defend the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians anywhere in the world.
“And 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,” Onyeama added.