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House summons U.S. envoy over torture

13 July 2012, 09:48

Abuja - House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora has summoned Mr Terence McCulley, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and Mr Olugbenga Ashiru, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to appear before it.

The summon was sequel to the allegation of torture and unlawful deportation levelled against the U.S. immigration authorities by Mr Jacob Ajomale, who appeared before the committee in Abuja on Thursday.

Rep. Abike Dabiri-Erewa (ACN-Lagos), the Chairman of the Committee, said Ajomale, a Nigerian, appeared before the committee with his lawyer.

Dabiri-Erewa said that the allegations against the U.S. immigration authorities would  be investigated, adding that appropriate steps would be taken to address the issue.

She expressed surprise that the U.S. authorities could be associated with such ``Asian-style torture methods’’ and promised that the House would do its best to get to the root of the issue.

 ``We will invite the U.S. Ambassador on this matter and also the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other authorities concerned.

 ``The Committee will do its best to address this issue, the committee will get the other side of the story,’’ she said.

Ajomale had earlier told the committee that he was tortured and electronically harassed with a life-threatening chip implanted in his spinal cord.

``I was eventually deported to Nigeria in 2011 by the U.S. Immigration authority for alleged immigration offences.''

In another development, the Committee on Diaspora had pledged to collaborate with the Nigerian Diaspora Alumni Network (NIDAN) led by its President, Manny Aniebonam, to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to Nigeria.

Dabiri-Erewa said that the committee would ensure that the Diaspora Commission Bill was passed and signed into law to streamline activities of Nigerians outside the country.

Earlier, Aniebonam said NIDAN, which was being funded by 50 corporate individuals, was in the process of being registered as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).

He said when registered, the organisation would push for the growth of the country's economy through employments in Diaspora-related companies.



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