Bishop Frank Owali of the World Overseer of Hebron-Harvest International Ministry, with headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, has raised alarm over alleged hostile treatment and harassment of Nigerians by the authorities of Thailand.The cleric, who fled the country, alleged that at the time of his departure no fewer than 700 Nigerians have been arrested and clamped into detention in various towns in and around Bangkok. He said there was no effort by officials of Nigerian Embassy in the country to wade in the matter.
Owali said following insecurity, unprovoked harassment, sustained assault, arrest and extortion of money from Nigerians by Thai security officials, several Nigerians had decided to go underground.
He said: The whereabouts of about five Nigerians pastors, including the clerics in charge of The Throne of Grace Church, New Life International Ministry, and of one of my pastors are unknown.” He alleged that they were among those penciled down by the Thai police for arrest or extra-judicially execution.
Bishop Owali said that the Thailand legal system was so draconian that it did not give room for suspects to defend themselves, as many Nigerians were said to have been in prison custody for several years without appearing in court for trial.
He appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan and the Nigerian Minister for Foreign Affairs to intervene in the matter to stop further unlawful killing and incarceration of Nigerians in Thailand, stressing that several Nigerian business enterprises and churches had been shut down by the Thai police.
Presently, the Thai govt and Nigerian govt have an ongoing truce and over 400 Nigerians deported back home resulting from illegal papers or drugs. Many of those jailed had either no documents to clear themselves or were specifically caught with drugs (marijuana, ice and coke are the common).
These Nigerian citizens want the embassy to be fighting for their rights while they have already trampled on them the moment they were caught with Drugs or illegal papers. To date, many others are still doing the same thing risking their freedoms and tarnishing the country’s image and blaming the Thai and Nigerian governments for their failures. There are many Nigerians studying, touring and doing legal businesses in Thailand who have never had troubles with Thai Authorities.