INDONESIA has defended its immigration officers who recently attacked Nigerian diplomat Abdulrrahman Ibrahim saying it was the envoy who was the aggressor during the recent altercation in Jakarta.
On Saturday August 7, Mr Ibrahim was involved in a major scuffle with Indonesian immigration officials inside a vehicle. In a published video which has since gone viral, two officials were filmed trying to subdue Mr Ibrahim who was heard screaming out that he could not breath.
After the outrage the scene caused, the incident sparked a diplomatic row between Nigeria and the Indonesian authorities with the federal government recalling Nigeria’s ambassador Usman Ogar for consultation. Nigeria has also threatened a review of the bilateral relations between the two nations.
Today, both Mr Ogar and Mr Ibrahim will arrive back in Nigeria. However, Dr Usra Harahap, Indonesia’s high commissioner to Nigeria, to foreign affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja that the Nigerian diplomat was the aggressor during his encounter with the immigration officers.
Mr Onyeama said: “The federal government will make its position known after consulting with the recalled Nigerian envoy expected to arrive in the country along with Mr Ibrahim on today.”
However, Dr Harahap disclosed that the immigration officers from the South Jakarta Immigration Office were carrying out surveillance on foreigners when they asked Mr Ibrahim for identification but the diplomat allegedly refused to identify himself or tender his passport. He added that they met with Mr Ibrahim and politely requested him to show his travel document but he answered that his passport was in his room.
“Then the officer asked again, ‘Can we see your travel document to check the residence permit and if there are no problems with the document, so you may continue your activities
Dr Harahap said: “Mr Ibrahim was not willing to show his passport and said to the officer, you will know who really I am and be careful on that. Instead of showing his identity card, Mr Ibrahim was angry and said just arrest me and you will regret to know who really I am.
“The officer said we will not detain you further sir, if you can show us your identity card. Then Mr Ibrahim said where is your car, I’ll come to your office.
“On the way to the immigration office in South Jakarta, several incidents happened. Mr Ibrahim elbowed the immigration officer, Mr Laode Hauzan Baidi, who was sitting next to him until Mr Laode’s lip was bleeding, which led to other officers restraining him from attacking another officer during the trip.”
He added that the issue was resolved when the Nigerian high commissioner to Indonesia arrived at the South Jakarta Immigration Office around 6.30 pm, together with the staff and his police guard from the Directorate of Security of Vital Objects of Police of the Greater Jakarta Metro Area. According to Dr Harahap, the officer injured by Mr Ibrahim lodged a complaint about the attack on him but did not process it further because the matter had been resolved.