The Senate has directed its committees on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate alleged unlawful killings and incarceration of 250 Nigerians in Ethiopia.
The upper chamber consequently gave the committees two weeks to report back .
The resolution was sequel to a motion sponsored by the Senate Minority Leader, Simon Mwadkwon and co-sponsored by Sen. Victor Umeh (LP-Anambra) during Wednesday’s plenary.
The motion was tagged: “Urgent Need to Investigate the Unlawful Killings and Incarceration of over 250 Nigerians in Ethiopia.”
Moving the motion, Mwadkwon said that in spite of the clarion call for unity among nations of the world, there is a wide spread information currently being circulated by “Dr Paul Ezike.
“Ezike is calling on Nigerian Government to intervene on the inhumanity and torture that Nigerians are receiving in Ethiopia without evidence of commission of any crime.
“Based on the wide spread information being circulated, that over 250 Nigerians who have continued to face these maltreatments and inhumanity have not committed any crime known to any law.
“There is no evidence of any court proceedings stating the categories of crimes they have committed or any court conviction in that regard.
“At the moment, based on the sovereignty of this country and the sanctity of the lives and property of all Nigerians all over the world as captured in the Nigerian Constitution, there is no justification whatsoever for taking away the dignity of any person, let alone taking away the life of a citizen.”
He said that in the midst of the economic and social hardships being experienced by Nigerians, yet some 250 people are currently being subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment.
He said, “This calls for urgent intervention of this hallowed chambers as the lives of those 250 people matter most to us.”
Seconding the motion, Sen. Mohammed Monguno, (APC-Borno) said the constitution gives primacy to the protection of lives and property and that is the essence of governance.
“All hands must be on deck by all arms of government; the executive and legislature in particular that this ugly scenario should be investigated and the interest of our citizens where ever they may be should be jealously guarded and protected,” he said.
For Sen. Titus Zam (APC-Benue), “humanity requires of us to seek to protect any Nigerian where ever they are.
“Urgent steps should be taken to liaise with the Nigerian embassy in Nigeria to find ways of resolving this matter without sacrificing any single Nigerian in spite of whatever is the situation out there.”
Similarly, Sen. Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi) said “Regardless of the crime committed, I think, looking at Nigeria, the cornerstone of our foreign policy is Africa.
“Which means where ever an African is affected, Nigeria should have a voice talk less of when Nigerians are the ones involved. We must make sure Nigerians do not suffer undue consequences.
“It is equally important to warn Nigerians not to commit any crimes even here talk less outside because there will be no leniency when you commit a huge crime.”
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, urged relevant authorities of the Federal Government to take the lives of Nigerians very seriously both in Nigeria and in the diaspora.
“I’m aware that many Nigerians are suffering discrimination in places like South Africa and Seychelles. Some of them have stopped receiving the Green Passports.”