The Senate has commenced investigation into the alleged imprisonment and killing of over 250 Nigerians in Ethiopia.
The investigation followed the adoption of a motion by the Minority Leader of the Senate, Simon Mwadkwon, (Plateau North), and Senator Victor Umeh (Anambra Central).
The motion, which was titled: “Urgent need to investigate the unlawful killings and incarceration of over 250 Nigerians in Ethiopia,” urged the Snate to work with the federal government to immediately constitute a committee to visit the Republic of Ethiopia with a view to investigating what is happening to Nigerians in the country.
It also called on the federal government to immediately direct the Nigerian Embassy in Ethiopia to collaborate with the delegation of the Senate Committees on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs to find a lasting solution to problems being faced and or encountered by Nigerians who are held in Ethiopia.
Sponsor of the motion, Senator Mwadkwon in his submission pointed out that a video clip being circulated on the social media, indicated that Nigerians were held captives in the maximum prison of Ethiopia and are in serious peril which called for urgent intervention and thorough probe.
He lamented that this was happening despite the clarion call for unity among nations of the world.
According to the lawmaker, there was a widespread information currently being circulated by Dr. Paul Ezike, calling on the Nigerian Government to intervene on the inhumanity and torture that Nigerians were receiving in Ethiopia without evidence of commission of any crime.
The Senate leader said, “There is a widespread information currently being circulated by Dr. Paul Ezike calling the Nigerian government to intervene on the inhumanity and torture that Nigerians are receiving in Ethiopia without evidence from the commission of any crime.”
He added that “based on the widespread information being circulated that over 250 Nigerians who have continued to face these maltreatment and inhumanity have not committed any crime known to any law and there is no evidence of any court proceedings, stating the categories of crimes they have committed or any court conviction in that regard.”
He further noted that “at the moment based on the sovereignty of this country and the sanctity of the lives and properties of all Nigerians all over the world as captured in the Nigerian constitution especially sections 33, 34 and 35 of the 1999 constitution as amended which has similar provisions in other international codes, instruments and conventions which Nigeria and Ethiopia are signatories to, there is no justification whatsoever for taking away the dignity of any person, let alone taking away the life of a citizen.”
“In the midst of the economic and social hardships being experienced by our citizens, some over 250 people who belong to this nation are currently being subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment which calls for urgent intervention of these hallowed chambers as the lives of those 250 people matter most to us.
“It is pathetic that a nation as populous as Nigeria, the giant of Africa, our citizens are being held in captivity in the 21st century where the call is for unity among nation-states but quite lugubriously that Ethiopia has chosen shallow path to maltreat and mistreat the citizens of Nigeria without any justification as shown in a video by Dr. Paul Ezike,” the lawmaker further stressed.