FG demands full investigation into death of Nigerian inmate in Ethiopia

THE Nigerian Government has demanded a full investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of a Nigerian inmate Chizoba Favor Eze, in an Ethiopian prison.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) on Wednesday in reaction to reports of Chizoba’s death in Kaliti Prison, Addis Ababa on Sunday, March 12, following alleged physical assault.


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It was gathered that Chizoba fell sick after she was brutalised by prison officials and was subsequently forced to receive an injection which she had previously reacted to negatively.

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Her corpse was also reportedly left inside the cell for over 36 hours by the prison management who allegedly prevented other inmates from informing the Nigerian embassy about the incident, before a protest by the inmates.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NiDCOM Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the Commission was in contact with the Nigerian Mission in Ethiopia and the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident will be thoroughly looked into.

Chizoba’s death comes nearly four years after another Nigerian Odemu Efe, died of an undisclosed ailment and poor medical attention at the same prison facility.

It would also be recalled that in January, some Nigerian inmates locked up in the maximum security Kaliti Prison had called on the Federal Government to facilitate their transfer of sentence to Nigerian prisons, alleging grave human rights abuses in the Ethiopian prison; including starvation, lack of medical care, corporal and capital punishment and overcrowding.



    Similar appeals were also made in 2021 and 2019. “We ask that the government come to our aid urgently. We lack access to water, food and medical care. We are asking the government to intervene so we can serve the rest of our jail terms in Nigeria,” the inmates pleaded.

    The NiDCOM boss expressed concern over the condition of the inmates, explaining that the Nigerian Mission in Ethiopia has proposed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the transfer of sentenced Nigerians to serve their respective jail terms in the country.

    She however, noted that while the Commission awaits a response from Ethiopia, a number of persons held for drug-related offences who had benefitted from an amnesty granted to Nigerian prisoners in 2019 by the Ethiopian government, had regrettably found their way back to the country and have now been allegedly re-arrested for fresh crimes also relating to drugs.

    More than 200 Nigerians are estimated to be languishing in the Ethiopian prison facility and many are awaiting trial over allegations of possession of hard drugs and money laundering.

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