Edo State House of Assembly

Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Edo State House of Assembly has issued a warrant of arrest on the Managing Director of Rongtai Aluminum Company, Mr. Chen Shijing, over his alleged refusal to honour its call.

The was sequel to the consideration of a preliminary report at the Committee of the whole House on the alleged ill-treatment of a staff of the company, contained in a petition to the House.

The petition titled “Case of serious ill-treatment, acts of threat to life, abandonment, neglect and oppression, was written and signed by George Igbokwe (SAN), on behalf of Mr. Ebebe Ukala, the petitioner.

Chairman of the Committee which investigated the petition, Hon. Foly Ogedengbe, decried the nonchalant attitude of the company who refused to honour the invitation of the committee as it commenced investigation into the petition referred to it on the 4th of February, 2019.

Ogedegbe said the petitioner appeared before the committee with his counsel where it observed that the petitioner had been tortured and dehumanised.

The committee reportedly frowned at insensitivity of the company to adhere to its corporate social responsibility to host communities, violation of human rights, and no regard to court and House of Assembly summons.

Speaker of the House, Kabiru Adjoto, directed the State Commissioner of police, Mr. Dan Mallam Mohammed, to arrest and bring Mr. Chen Shijing to plenary on April 1.

He said; “For the sake of fair hearing, the committee invited him upon receipt of the petition against the company and they refused to appear.

“At Plenary on Monday, the House upon consideration of the report of the committee, also summoned the management of the company, all in a bid to give them fair hearing, but they refused honour the summon.

“Instead of appearing, the management of the company sent a legal representative which we consider as disregard for constituted authority.”

Mrs Elizabeth Ativie (APC Uhunwmode), thereafter, moved a motion to the effect that the managing director and directors of the company be issued warrant of arrest.

The motion was seconded by the member, representing (APC Etsako East), Mr Kingsley Ugabi.

The Speaker, thereafter, invoked section 13 of the legislative House powers and section 129 (1D)(F2) of the 1999 constitution as amended to issue the warrant of arrest on the managing director of the company.

Adjoto described the appearance of legal representative on behalf of the Rongtai Aluminum Company as unacceptable and disrespectful, adding that the management of the company saw themselves as above the law.