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Senate Probes Alleged Killing Of Nigerians In Togo

Senate has ordered its Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions to investigate the alleged killing of some Nigerians who are indigenes of Enugu State in the Republic of Togo.

The killing probe was sequel to a petition issued to the upper legislative chamber by Concerned Igbo-Eze North Youths, which was presented by former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, at the plenary on Wednesday.

In the petition entitled: ‘Complaint against the Gruesome Killing of Our Indigenes/Citizens in Togo’, signed by Solomon Onu and Witness Asoanya, convener and the secretary-general of the body respectively, they called the attention of the Senate to the alleged murder of Mr. Sabastine Onyeneke, Nnamdi Odo, and Ogbuanya Nathaniel in the West African country within few months.

The group appealed to the Senate to step in to unravel the killings and ensure that justice is served.

The group said, “On January 24, 2021, Mr. Ossai Sabastine Onyeneke, 39, was strangled and stabbed to death in Lome, Togo. Until his death, Onyeneke worked with the Swedish maritime business giant, Bureau Veritas, in De L’cam, Togo. As if that was not enough, on February 6, 2021, Nnamdi Odo from Umu-Agama community in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area was also killed in the Agoyi area of Togo.

“It is noteworthy that apart from these, in November 2020, a young man named Ogbuanya Nathaniel from Obimo in Nsukka LGA was also murdered in Togo.”

It added that they were very pained by the failure of the Nigerian Government, particularly the Nigerian embassy in Lome to protest the killings of these Nigerians to the Togolese authorities.

The upper chamber also passed for second reading a bill seeking to establish a nationwide toll-free emergency number for reporting of emergencies throughout the federation.

Meanwhile, the Senate has passed for a second reading a bill seeking to establish a nationwide toll-free emergency number to report emergencies throughout the country.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, in his lead debate, said the emergency telephone number is typically a three-digit number that can be easily remembered and dialed quickly.

According to him, the legislation is proposing the use of ‘112’ as the National Emergency number or any other three digit numbers as may be agreed upon during the public hearing.

He listed such emergencies as road accidents, fire, burglary, medical emergencies among others.

The senator said although Nigeria has several helpline numbers for emergency situations, the presence of multiple emergency telephone numbers have been identified as impediments to getting accelerated emergency response during emergency situations.

He said: “Emergency numbers are needed in life-threatening situations. Emergency telephone lines are set up in a way that once a call is made, it must be answered by either a dedicated telephone operator, computer-aided call handling system, or an emergency service dispatcher trained to control the calls in order to provide help in an appropriate manner.

“A nationwide system for reporting emergencies would dispense with the multiplicity of emergency numbers and provide a single point contact for assistance in case of any kind of emergency. Calls or text messages sent to the emergency number will land at the nearest public safety answering points or the control room for necessary secondary responses. Emergency number would create easy access to Nigerians especially those in remote areas. Nigerians and other residents in the country can use the toll free numbers to seek help in times of distress and emergency.”

The bill received overwhelming support from the lawmakers, and was referred to the Committee on Communication which is to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

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