The Ghanaian government has reacted to an allegation by a journalist, David Hundeyin, that the Nigerian government was pressurizing authorities in the country to extradite him back to Nigeria.
Hundeyin had claimed that President Bola Tinubu, who doubles as the ECOWAS chairman, was seeking to get him extradited to Nigeria because he (Hundeyin) revealed that the Nigerian president allegedly forged his academic certificate and also engaged in drug trafficking in the US.
“So, I want to urge the Ghanaian president to resist the temptation to allow the Nigerian president to push Ghana into breaking international law,” Hundeyin said in a lengthy video shared on X (Twitter) in September.
“I obviously don’t need to mention that there is a law called the Law of Refoulement which forbids the illegal repatriation of political refugees back to the country that they fled from, where they are going to face persecution,” he added.
But reacting in a letter dated 1 October 2023, the Chairperson of the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB), Kenneth Attafuah, said it was not true that the board or the Ghanaian government was contacted Nigerian requesting to get him extradited.
Attafuah noted that the GRB decided to reach the journalist after considering his allegations in the video clip during an emergency meeting of the board members on 29 September.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is not within the contemplation of the GRB to repatriate you to Nigeria. There is absolutely no need or reason for that; your fear of being refouled lacks supporting verification, and is not well-founded,” he said.
“The unproven allegations and apparently defamatory statements you make in your video against the sitting president of Nigeria from Ghanaian soil have strong political ramifications and national security potential implications and could engender needless diplomatic row between our two sister countries. You are respectfully urged to desist from such conduct even as you freely practice your trade as a professional journalist,” he added.
The chairperson told the journalist that although the board has no intention of withdrawing or cancelling his refugee status, he must obey and respect the laws of Ghana and observe the provisions of Rights and Obligations of Asylum Seekers.
“The GRB is completely unaware of any of the astonishing allegations of criminality you attribute to the President of Nigeria and the Nigerian Government or any of its security agencies.
“As a creature of statute, the GRB acts within the four corners of its statutory mandate, and in accordance with applicable international law, as a result, it is unable to assume responsibilities falling outside the scope of its statutory mandate or meet some of your grand expectations of it,” he stated.
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