Rep. Chinda feared that if urgent steps are not taken to save these Nigerians in Ethiopia, who are held and attacked in prisons, they may die in prison.
The House of Representatives has resolved to probe the alleged maltreatment of Nigerians in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
It also mandated the Committees on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs to invite the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chairman, of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission to provide briefs on the preventive measures taken to protect Nigerians and air travelers to Addis Ababa and report back within three.
The resolutions are contained in a motion on the “Need to Investigate Alleged Victimization and Maltreatment of Nigerians in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia” sponsored by Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) and ten (10) others at plenary on Thursday.
Leading the debate, Chinda lamented the alleged incidents of victimization, maltreatment, and forced imprisonment of Nigerians, including air travelers, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He explained that one Dr. Paul Ezike in a “SOS” circulating on the internet at the instance of a Nigerian allegedly arrested and put in Ethiopia prison, reported that “some Nigerians are currently serving at the Chaota Maximum Security and other prisons in Ethiopia, most of whom are travelers that use the Ethiopian Airport as a transit point, where they are indiscriminately arrested at the Ethiopia Airport in Addis Ababa, taken to the hospital and forcefully injected with some substances and later taken to the prison facilities.”
He added that “Nigerians in Addis Ababa and all over the world and air travelers should be protected and accorded the same protection Nigeria gives to foreigners who live in Nigeria.”
Chinda, who is the Minority Leader of the House, also worried that the frequent attacks and violence in those prisons could lead to the untimely death of Nigerians.
“The 250 Nigerians who are currently serving prison terms in Ethiopia as a result of frequent attacks may die in prison if urgent steps are not taken to save them.
“These Nigerians are not only poorly treated but are also subjected to very agonizing conditions, poor feeding, and without medication.
“Recall that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) joined the rest of Africa to sign a remarkable Trade Agreement for the continent and the fact that Nigerians are industrious entrepreneurs and have spent years transacting business in Addis Ababa and air travelers contributing to their economy.”
The lawmaker further warned that if early interventions and diplomatic measures are not taken by the Nigerian Government to check the incessant attacks on Nigerians in Ethiopia, air travelers would be at risk.
The motion was unanimously passed when the presiding officer, Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu put the question and the relevant committees were given weeks for further legislative action.