Fresh Batch Of 150 Nigerians Return From Libya

Another batch of 150 Nigerians, comprising males and females last night returned to Nigeria from the crisis-ridden Libya after they had undergone severe torture in the North African country.

Most of the returnees had planned to use Libya as a channel to cross to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea, but were caught in the web of crisis and could not go further with their plans.

The returnees arrived the shores of Nigeria 10:10 pm on Thursday night through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) aboard a chartered Boeing 737-800 aircraft with the registration number 6A-DMG.

The returnees comprised 13 female adults and one teenage girl while the male adults were 133 with two teenage boys and a toddler.

The returnees who claimed they voluntarily returned back to Nigeria, were received on arrival by officials of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

They were brought back on the expression of interest to return to Nigeria through the assistance of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European Union.

The returnees were received on behalf of NEMA by the South West Zonal coordinator, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu.

Also on ground to welcome the returnees back home were officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) as well as officers of the Nigerian Police.

It would be recalled that as at the second quarter of this year, no fewer than 4,281 Nigerians had been repatriated through various countries in Europe, US, and even some African countries through Lagos Airport alone.

According to the document, between January and June 2017, 2,251 Nigerians were deported through chartered flights majorly from Libya and some from the European Union.

The breakdown of the chartered flights deportees indicated that 1,321 of them were males while the other 930 deportees were females.

Besides, those deported through regular flights, which were mainly from Europe, South Africa, and a few African countries were 2,030 Nigerians.

The composition of the deportees revealed that just like in the chartered flights, majority of them were males.

According to the document, males deported in the first half of the year were 1,502 while 528 others were female.

Out of these numbers, those who were involved in criminal activities in their host countries were handed over to the Nigeria Police for further prosecution, some who involved in drug related matters were handed over to officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the airport while others were returned to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP).

Also, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered for the evacuation of Nigerians from Libya, following reports that they were being sold as slaves in the war-torn north African nation for as little as $400.

It was gathered that the Federal Government would in the next few weeks intensify efforts towards bringing them back while the ongoing repatriation by the IOM and the EU is expected to also continue.

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