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By Christiana Ekpa
The Federal Government yesterday said it is set to secure the release of the 31 year old Nigerian Lady, Temitope Olamide who was being prosecuted by her employer in Lebanon over allegation bothering on theft and attempted murder.
Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe disclosed this during a meeting with the Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Zubairu Dada and the Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr.
She said: “It was an informal meeting because the Ambassador was nice enough to join us at the meeting. There is no law that says he has to be here today but because he has an interest in the joint relationship between Nigeria and Lebanon.
“We have a lot of Nigerians in Lebanon, we have a lot of Lebanese in Nigeria. We have had a relationship with Lebanon from the 50s so you can imagine we have been.
“This meeting today has further reiterated the Lebanese community and the Nigerian community we always stand together to ensure that justice and respect for human lives is a priority and we will work together to bring modern day slavery to an end.
“I am happy to inform Nigerians that Temitope Olamide will be home before the end of the week and so many other Nigerians who want to come home from Lebanon the opportunity will be provided for them to come home.
“We are also taking this opportunity to look at the case of a Lebanese who is held in Illorin charges of human trafficking to ensure that there is merit in the case.
“We will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that we have a continued relationship with Lebanon that our girls can go there legally to work and work in circumstances that are not dehumanizing,” she noted.
While speaking on the circumstances surrounding the media coverage of the informal meeting, Hon. Akande-Sadipe informed the delegation that: “it was a misunderstanding, it’s meant to be an informal meeting and the Ambassador was not aware that even when we have our informal meeting is documented.
“Because of the law of diplomacy, he wasn’t expecting to have media there and it was immediately resolved that it was going to be an executive session. The Minister apologized on behalf of Foreign Affairs and he apologized on behalf of the country and the Embassy of Lebanon.
“You will be invited on the day Temitope arrive and you will see that this is not eye-service and not just Temitope that flight is bringing in Ladies who want to come home and we will continue to bring home those who want to come home. The Lebanese Government is promising us now that it will ensure our girls work in very humane circumstances.
“To Nigerians, keep your eyes open. There is a source at home that is fueling human trading. There are Nigerians that you and I need to monitor them and ensure that the human trafficking source here in Nigeria is brought to an end.
“So we need to be our brother keeper. If you know any of those agents you need to go and report them to NAPTIP,” she urged.
In his remarks, the Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Mr. Zubairu Dada who reiterated the Ministry’s resolve to synergize with the House, pledged the present administration’s resolve to protect her Citizens living in Diaspora.
“We are willing and ready to work with the Committee to protect and defend the interest of Nigerians in Diaspora.
“What we have done in the case of Temitope and others, we will continue to do our best,” he assured.
Recall that the Committee and other stakeholders established that Temitope suffered abuse and sexual harassment from the husband of her employer, Mahmoud Zahran and his wife, Feyzeh Diab during her sojourn in Lebanon.
In a related development, the Committee during an investigative hearing into the activities of the 21 licensed agents involved in the recruitment of Nigerians as domestic staff, frowned at the flagrant breach of company registration and financial regulations.
According to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) some of the companies licensed by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment failed to make returns to relevant agencies as provided by extant laws while others are up to date.
The Commission also noted that it could not embark on unilateral delisting of registered companies, adding that about 95% of the companies would be affected if such a step is taken.