Law News
Reps investigate alleged killing of 97 Nigerians by Cameroonian Gendarmes

The House of Representatives Thursday began investigation over the alleged killing of 97 Nigerians in the ceded Bakassi Peninsula, by Cameroonian Gendarmes.

To this effect, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs has been mandated to investigate the matter and report back to the House for further legislative action.

This was sequel to the passage of a motion brought under matters of urgent national importance by a member Hon. Babatunde Kolawole titled: “Alleged killing of 97 Nigerians by Cameroonian Gendarmes.”

The lawmaker, while moving the motion said: “last week there were several media reports that 97 Nigerians have been killed in Bakassi by Cameroonian Gendarmes because they could not afford a N100, 000  ( Hundred Thousand Naira) levy on each fishing boat.

“This is in spite of the clauses in the Green Tree Agreement signed between Nigerian and Cameroonian Governments which protect our citizens in the ceded areas from harm.

“Apart from this recent attack, there have been reports of harassments, rape and killings of Nigerians by the Gendarmes over the years with the Nigerian government seemingly doing little or nothing to stop it.

“If nothing is done to stop this ugly development, other Nigerian lives would be at stake as the Gendarmes may continue to kill Nigerians at will without fear of recriminations.”

Kolawole said that though there are reports that the Federal government has summoned the Cameroonian Ambassador over the killings, there is need for the House as the People’s parliament to send a clear signal that “we will not sit and watch while the lives of our citizens are wasted with impunity.”

Members were in support of the motion, and some lawmakers decried the attitude of the Cameroonian Gendarmes perceived use of excessive force against Nigerian citizens in the ceded Bakassi region.

However, the Chairperson of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon. Nnena Elendu- Ukeje cautioned the lawmakers saying that the issue is still in the realm of speculations and hence it should investigated before coming to a definitive conclusion.

The Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara subsequently referred the motion to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs for further investigation.

Source: Victor Oluwasegun

The Nation

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