From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Nigerian Senate has directed its Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions, to probe the alleged killing of some Nigerian nationals of Enugu State origin resident in the Republic of Togo.
This followed a petition to the upper legislative Chamber by Concerned Igbo-Eze North Youths, presented by former Deputy President of the Senate and former Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, at Senate plenary on Wednesday.
In the petition entitled “Complaint Against the Gruesome Killing of Our Indigenes/Citizens in Togo” and signed by Solomon Onu and Witness Asoanya, Convener and the Secretary-General, respectively, the body called the attention of the Senate to the alleged murder of Mr. Sabastine Onyeneke, Nnamdi Odo, and Ogbuanya Nathaniel in the West African country within a spate of few months.
“First, on 24th January 2021, Mr. Ossai Sabastine Onyeneke, a 39-year old young man, was strangled and stabbed to death at Lome, Togo. Until his death, Mr. Sabastine worked with the Swedish Maritime business giant, Bureau Veritas, situate in De L’cam, Togo.
“As if that was not enough, on 6th February 2021, the life of one Nnamdi Odo from Umu-Agama community, also in Igbo-Eze North LGA, was cut short in another provocative act of killing in the Agoyi part of Togo.
“It is noteworthy that apart from these more recent two incidents this year, in November 2020, one young boy named Ogbuanya Nathaniel from Obimo in Nsukka LGA, was also murdered in Togo,” the group narrated.
It added that it was very pained by the failure of the Nigerian government, particularly the Nigerian Embassy in Lome, to protest the killings to the Togolese authorities. It consequently appealed to the Senate to step in to unravel the killings and ensure that justice was served.
“In all of this, it is most annoying and saddening that the Federal authorities have not protested to the Togolese government to know why we should be losing innocent and promising young men almost on monthly basis.
“We, therefore, humbly implore the Senate to mandate and compel the Nigerian Embassy in Togo and, in fact, the Togolese authorities and government to thoroughly investigate these most recent killings and ensure that those behind them are brought to book and that justice is seen to be done,” it stated.
Describing people of Igbo-Eze North and Enugu in general as “peaceful, accommodating, and faithful”, the group observed that it did not make sense that foreigners, including Togo nationals, resident in Nigeria went about their businesses unmolested, whereas Nigerians in Togo were being targeted and killed.
While denouncing all forms of criminality by any Nigerian, Concerned Igbo-Eze North Youths, however, stressed that should any Nigerian be found wanting, the laws of their host countries must not only be followed, but also must be seen to have been fairly applied.
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions has two weeks to investigate the matter and report back to the Senate.