The House of Representatives has commenced an investigation into the immigration documents of Chinese immigrants living in Nigeria.
The probe is being conducted by the joint committees on Interior, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board.
In his remarks, House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, recalled that in April, photos and videos depicting maltreatment of Nigerians in China, went viral.
He cited reports of embarrassments, illegal detentions and forceful evictions.
China, in its rejoinder, denied racial discrimination against foreigners.
But Gbajabiamila said that he summoned the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian on April 10.
The Speaker noted that the House, on April 28, condemned the xenophobic attacks.
“Apart from urging the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to provide financial and other assistance to affected Nigerian citizens in China, the house took a two-pronged approach by constituting two joint committees to undertake two specific assignments towards remedying the ugly situation,”
The lawmaker announced that the Green Chamber has mandated the House Committees on Foreign Affairs, Inter-Parliamentary Relations, Human Rights, and Diaspora to ascertain the extent of violation of rights of citizens.
The joint committee will ask the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, and others, to check the validity of Chinese citizens’ immigration documents.
The committee is to look into the expatriate quota of all the Chinese immigrants in Nigeria.
Those found to have flouted the quota will be repatriated to China.
Gbajabiamila implored all the relevant stakeholders to assist the joint committee.
He stated that the joint committee is imbued with legal and statutory powers to conduct this hearing as stipulated in the Standing Orders of the House, Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act, 2017 and the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Gbajabiamila added that its powers include right to order attendance of witnesses, issuance and service of summons to attend and power to issue warrants to compel attendance.