Four Nigerian football players were sentenced to six-months jail by Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s court after pleading guilty of illegal stay in the country. Kisutu is an administrative ward in the Ilala district of the Dar es Salaam Region of Tanzania.
Andrew Okoro and Chiku Odia appeared before Magistrate Frank Moshi and after pleading guilty they were each fined 100,000 Shillings or serve a six-month jail term. The duo opted to jail terms after failing to pay the stated fine.
Two other Nigerians Chikereke Messaiah and Onyekwu Daniel also had to serve six-month jail after each failed to pay fine to the tune of 50,000 Shillings having pleaded guilty of illegal presence in the country. Magistrate Gabriel Mirumbe had no option other than to hand them the jail sentence.
The accused Okoro claimed that he came Tanzania for trials with relegated top flight side of Ashanti United but would not make a breakthrough.
Okoro claimed that he was supported to gain access into the country by his manager Aishi Shaban who took his passport and $500 before flying to South Africa.
Accused Odia who was a football player with Mwanza-based first division club of Toto Africa said he lost his passport and reported to the police station only to be advised to check with his embassy for assistance.
Reading the facts, prosecutor from immigration department Patrick Ngayomela told the court that the accused admitted after being arrested that they were to join Ashanti United but their bid failed to materialise.
He added that the accused Odia was in the country since 2012 and he had been playing for Toto Africa but since the team was relegated he has failed to secure another registration.
According to the charge sheet, the accused Okoro and Odia were arrested at Shayo Guest House in Tandika while Messaiah and Daniel were arrested at TIG Church in Chang’ombe surburb.
So while western countries were rallying round Nigeria to rescue the abducted school girls, Tanzania, an African country is having fun jailing Nigerians for finding safety in their nation.