Senate decries unlawful arrest of Nigerians in Benin Republic

The Senate has condemned unlawful arrest of Nigerians, by the authorities in Republic of Benin.

This followed a point of order by Sen. Tolu Odebiyi (APC-Ogun) at Tuesday’s plenary.

Odebiyi rising under order 42 and 52 of the Senate rules, said there were numerous reports of encroachments into Nigerian territory by authorities of the Republic of Benin.

He said the encroachment had become increasingly disturbing.

“Reports revealed by Nigeria’s major news outlets like the PUNCH newspaper of April 22 and another report published on July 5, bears testament to these facts.

“According to a report by Channel TV station posted on July 2, gendarmes from the Republic of Benin crossed illegally into Nigerian territory to carry out the arrest of one Pastor Kunle Garb and Mr Benjamin Amosu, his interpreter.

“They are residents of Igbokofi Village in Yewa North Local Government Area (LGA) of Ogun.

“They were arrested for demanding the reversal of the land encroachment by the  government of the Republic of Benin,” he said.

He added: “The arrest of these Nigerians is based on the allegation that they are resisting encroachment into Nigerian land through Igbokofi village in Yewa-North LGA of Ogun.

“These allegations of encroachment have been also flayed by the government of the state as published in a release from the State Government calling on the Federal Government to secure the release of Nigerian citizens in detention in Benin.

“The continuous unchecked egress and ingress of persons at the different entry points and borders between Nigeria and Benin, the country’s closest neighbour are largely the result of the porosity of our country’s borders.”

The senate thereafter, directed its Committees on Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, and States and Local Governments to interface with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice and National Border Commission to provide lasting solutions to unlawful arrest of Nigerian.