Two Ghanaians serving jail time in Nigeria demand to be resettled in the US

Two Ghanaian nationals who are nearing the end of their prison sentences in Nigeria have put in a request to be resettled in the United States.

The two men who were convicted in 2007 for their involvement in several fraudulent online schemes have no social or family ties in the US but insist the United States government has “an obligation to accept and offer them a fresh start because they will be unable to resettle successfully into their former communities in Ghana.” A lawyer for the prisoners urged the US to accept the resettlement request on “humanitarian grounds” because the men will be “unsafe in Ghana due to the current economic turmoil and the never-ending energy crisis.”

The prisoners’ request come only a day after it emerged that the United States government on Wednesday transferred two Yemeni nationals with ties to al Qaeda from Guantanamo Bay to Ghana.

Although Nigerian prison officials have described the Ghanaian prisoners as “friendly and kind criminals,” the US State Department has reportedly rejected the resettlement request, arguing that the it would be “dangerous and reckless” for the United States to take in foreign nationals with questionable background. A State Department official remarked that “a nation with any degree of self-respect and a responsible leadership will not accommodate criminals and misfits from another country.”