Nigerians deported from UK say, they cannot trace their families


The 43 Nigerians were deported from the UK and arrived in Lagos on Wednesday. They were brought home in a chartered Airbus 330 aircraft that landed at the Murtala International Airport at 8am. However, the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA) said that they were deported for alleged immigration offences. NEMA however said that it had informed that about 83 deportees were being expected, and that some of them who had not completed their prison sentences in UK would be handed over to the Nigeria Prison Service to complete the terms.
The deportees were received by Dr Bandele Onimode, Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, who served as a representative to the NEMA Director General. The deportees were served breakfast and later interrogated to determine their states of origin so that they could be assisted to locate their relatives.

One of the deportees, a 37 year old, Yoruba man said he left Nigeria about 17 years ago and had lost contact with home. According to him, he put resources together to travel to UK but could not raise the money to process stay papers. He then began to engage in illegal activities until he was caught. On the other hand, an Igbo deportee, said his parents were in Lagos before he left for greener pastures, said he might not be able to trace the parents because he learnt they had relocated back home.

An aged woman among the deportee, said she left Nigeria some decades back, and she had lost touch with her relatives, including her children. According to investigation, many of the deportees had used fake names in their documentation as they were ashamed to reveal their identities.
Those who could locate their Nigerian addresses were given assistance to return home while those who could not were taken to rehabilitation centers.

The NEMA's information officer, Ibrahim Farinloye said the agency was yet to ascertain why the number of the deportees was 43 instead of 83. “They told us that 83 were coming but on arrival it was 43. This is humanitarian evacuation and many things could have happened at the last minute that may lead to decrease in the number of the people”, he said. When asked why the deportees’ names were not released, he said, “The Nigeria Immigration Service did the profiling and the names are not made public because of their security and social protection”.


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