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Reps summon foreign affairs minister over detention of Nigerians in Ethiopia

The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to invite the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar and the Chairman of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Abike…

The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to invite the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar and the Chairman of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, to explain measures being taken to address detention and maltreatment of Nigerians in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion jointly sponsored by the Minority Leader of the House, Kingsley China (Rivers, PDP) and 10 others on the maltreatment and forced imprisonment of Nigerians, including air travellers, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Other sponsors of the motion include: Abdussamad Dasukki, Laori Kwamoti Bittrus, Aliyu Madaki, Unyime Idem,  Nkwonta Chris,  Abbas Adogun,  Kabiru Ahmadu,  Ibe O. Osonwa, Ginger Onwusibe and  Kelechi Nwogu.

Chinda, while moving the motion alleged that one Paul Ezike in a “save our soul message” circulated a message at the instance of a Nigerian allegedly arrested and put in Ethiopia prison.

He said some Nigerians were imprisoned at the Chaota Maximum Security and other prisons in Ethiopia, adding that most of them were travellers using the Ethiopian Airport in Addis Ababa as a transit point where they are indiscriminately arrested, taken to the hospital, forcefully injected with some substances and later taken to the prison facilities.

According to him, Nigerians in Addis Ababa and all over the world should be protected and accorded the same protection Nigeria gives to foreigners who live in Nigeria.

He further said that “about 250 Nigerians are currently serving prison terms in Ethiopia” as a result of frequent attacks and may die in prison if urgent steps were not taken to save them.

He explained that these Nigerians were not only poorly treated but were also subjected to very agonizing conditions, poor feeding and without medication.

The House while adopting the motion mandated the committees on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs to invite the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the NiDCOM chairman to  brief them on the preventive measures taken to protect Nigerians and air travelers to Addis Ababa and report back within three weeks for further legislative action.

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