It said the release of the prisoners was the outcome of the two-day official visit by Mr. Jonathan to the country between March 21 and 22.
“The host Minister of National Security disclosed that such a gesture had never been officially extended to any illegal immigrant in Equatorial Guinea from any country. “Due to the small size of the population of the country, the government was out to keep the influx of foreign nationals in the country at the minimum,” the statement said.
The statement said the Equatorial government extended the gesture because of “the high esteem and respect” held for Nigeria and Mr. Jonathan.
The government also approved the immediate issuance of one-year resident permit to the freed Nigerians and directed its ministry of national security to work closely with the Nigerian embassy in the country.