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Reps investigate alleged inhuman treatment of Nigerians in Indonesia after another death

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Nigerian man Arinze Igweike allegedly beaten to death by Indonesian immigration officials. Source:tsbnews

THE House of Representatives has launched an investigation into allegations of violation of human rights and unfair treatment of Nigerian nationals in Indonesia, after recent events which led to the death of Arinze Igweike, allegedly manhandled by immigrations officials.

House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila directed the committees on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs to investigate the allegations of heavy-handedness and inhuman treatment of Igweike and other Nigerians by Indonesian officers.

This followed the adoption of a motion tiled: “Urgent need to address the violation of human rights and unfair treatment of Nigerians in Indonesia”, raised by lawmaker Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu.

Igweike who hails from Onitsha in Anambra state, was a graduate of electrical engineering from the University of Nigeria Nsukka.

The ICIR gathered that Igweike and two other Nigerians from south-west Nigeria were arrested for overstaying their visas. The fate of the other two cannot immediately be confirmed.

Chuba-Ikpeazu expressed worry over reports of the heavy-handedness of Indonesian security and law enforcement officers towards Nigerians that have led to allegations of illegal arrests, detention, tortures, extortions, and other unreported fundamental human rights breaches.

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“There is urgent need to address the heavy-handedness and inhuman treatment meted on Nigerians by the Indonesian Authorities, before more Nigerians lose their lives, as this will undoubtedly strain the relationship between the Nigerian and Indonesian government if not addressed.” she stressed.

She noted that Indonesia is a signatory to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948, which advocates for the protection of the fundamental rights and freedom of every human being.

The lawmaker recalled the recently reported case of a Nigerian who was arrested in Jakarta by Indonesian immigration police for unidentified offenses and eventually died in police custody without any charges being brought against him.

Also, in July 2020, another Nigerian simply identified as Chukwueze died after he was allegedly arrested, extorted and tortured by Indonesian Immigration officials, which resulted in massive protests at the Nigeria Embassy in Jakarta against discrimination and targeted raids by Indonesian officers.

The committee is expected to report back to the House within four weeks.

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