National Assembly Summons Foreign Affairs Minister Over Detention, Abuse Of Nigerians In Ethiopia | #NwokeukwuMascot

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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.

SaharaReporters had last week reported that some Nigerians detained in the Kaliti Prison, Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital city, were brutalised by the country's policemen.

This had followed multiple media reports over the plight of the inmates which the policemen tagged as “international embarrassment to the government of Ethiopia”.

According to some of the inmates, the policemen had accused them of giving fake reports about their inhumane treatment to “a newspaper, SaharaReporters and one Dr Paul Ezike.”

Two Nigerians had died in Kaliti Prison in Ethiopia earlier this year.

The House of Reps' 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 are not taken to save them. 

He explained that Nigerians were not only poorly treated but were also subjected to very agonising 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 travellers to Addis Ababa and report back within three weeks for further legislative action. 

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