Nigeria lower house approves Britain prisoner transfer

File photo dated 30/03/00 of a Prison officer in the Rotunda area of HMP Manchester
Image caption UK prisons hold more than 600 Nigerian inmates

Nigeria's lower house of parliament has approved a deal in which offenders convicted in Britain will serve out their jail terms in their home country.

The agreement still requires approval from the Senate, where it is likely to pass soon.

About 600 Nigerian inmates are being held in British jails, but it is not clear how many will face deportation.

The decision follows a visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron to Nigeria in July.

The UK Ministry of Justice said foreigners who "abuse our hospitality" and have no legal right to stay should be deported "at the earliest opportunity".

"Where possible those foreign nationals who receive a prison sentence should serve their sentences in their own countries," the ministry said.

The ministry said the British government had a number of transfer agreements, but most required the consent of the prisoner.

It was now working on transfer agreements that did not require that consent, it said.

Nigerian prisons are already overcrowded but Nigerian MP Jerry Manwe said that they could accommodate the influx of new inmates.

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