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Reps direct IGP to free detained 1000 Nigerian workers by a Chinese company

... Urge him to investigate armed robbery attack on the First Bank in Kogi

The House of Representatives has directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu to immediately send a crack team to storm Youngxing Steal Company in Edo State to ascertain a “Save our Souls” (SOS) call and set free the over 1000 Nigerian workers detained by the Chinese Company, pending further investigations.

The House also asked the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure post-release management of the detained workers.

It mandated relevant Committees of the House to follow through on the report to ensure that an investigation is carried out and appropriate sanctions meted to the Chinese Company if found culpable.

The Green Chamber reached these resolutions Tuesday at plenary while adopting a motion of urgent public importance, moved by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu.

Presenting the motion, Elumelu said, the House noted with concern that Yongxing, a Chinese steel company located at Ugua community of Edo State Nigeria, is said to have locked down its Nigerian workers within the company’s facility, thereby depriving them access to their families since 24th day of March 2020 till date.

Read also: Chief Imam, NSCIIA, FOMWAN, others protest against rape in Edo

He also said the House was aware that the workers numbering over a thousand, were holed up there in 10-persons-to-a -room bunker, making them live in a hazardous environment which has hindered the health of most of the workers.

According to him, the House is: “further aware that these workers are being made to work in slavish conditions 24 hours round the clock, day in and out for the last three months.

“Concerned that the said staffers were blackmailed not to divulge their new work conditions to anybody, failing which they would lose their jobs.

“Further concerned that though the company’s authority claims the workers were held back for health and safety measures but they were made to work within the precincts in grueling conditions and compelled to swear to an oath of secrecy.

“Disturbed that not only does the above situation amount to an infringement of the fundamental right to liberty of the subjects, but to false imprisonment as well as a flagrant abuse of several laws of the land including the Covid-19 regulations 2020, labour laws and the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004.

“Acknowledge that not too long ago in the thick of the global pandemic, we were scandalized to watch how the Chinese authorities dehumanized Nigerians in China by throwing them on the streets without shelter and protection of any kind”.

Similarly, the House urged the Inspector General of Police to investigate the armed robbery attack on the First Bank branch and the killing of Police officers and others in Yaba East Local Government Area of Kogi State, and to apprehend and prosecute the suspects.

It asked the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Inspector General of Police to ensure formidable security apparatus, including efficient backup response to armed robbery attacks in Isanlu and its environs.

The House requested the setting up of a joint security taskforce comprising Army, Police, Air Force and NSCDC to be stationed at a border town of Kogi/Kwara Isanlu-Esso along Egbe -Potigi road which serves as an escape route for those who robbed in Yagba Federal Constituency because of complete absence of security agents in the whole area up to Kwara State.

The Lower Chamber of the National Assembly took these decisions following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Leke Abejide (PDP, Kogi).

Moving the motion, Abejide said the House noted with dismay the deadly armed robbery attack on First Bank Branch and the Police Station in Isanlu Headquarter of Yagba East Local Government Area of Kogi State, in which 8 Police officers and several others were killed and wounded on 4th of June, 2020.

He further said the House noted that the armed robbers in the process of robbing the bank killed the security guard, blew off the fortified door of the bank with explosives, and carted away yet-to-be-disclosed sums of money.

The lawmaker lamented that: “the armed robbers managed to escape without being caught, further throwing the residents of lsanlu and its environs into a state of panic over the pervading insecurity and helplessness of the security apparatus to protect themselves or the citizens”.

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