The Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Houssam Diab, stunned members of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs Thursday when he staged a walk-out from the venue of the meeting at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.
Diab, who was summoned by the committee over the alleged maltreatment of Nigerians in the Middle Eastern nation, walked out of Conference Room 236, New Building, House Wing of the National Assembly complex, a few minutes after he stepped into the premises.
Also at the meeting were the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Zubairu Dada; Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah-Donli; officials of the federal ministries of Justice and Labour, Employment and Productivity, as well as Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), among others.
The ambassador, who was expecting a closed-door meeting with the lawmakers, was shocked when he saw other government officials and journalists at the venue.
He simply walked out of the venue at about 11:00 a.m. when the meeting was about to start.
The chairman of the committee, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, who addressed journalists a few minutes later, said she was shocked at the incident.
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 and we have a lot of Lebanese in Nigeria. We have a relationship with Lebanon from the 50s.
“This meeting today has further reiterated that the Lebanese community and the Nigerian community 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.”
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