About 162 Nigerian illegal migrants to Libya were on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, deported back to the country.
The illegal migrants had voluntarily opted to return to Nigeria having been stranded for possibly months in Libya without any form of accommodation and access to any job.
The returnees comprising of 132 males, 27 females, two female children and one male child, came aboard a Chadames Air aircraft marked 5A WAT. They arrived at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport around 2.50 pm.
Officials from the Port Health Services, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP), were on hand to receive them.
The returnees first had to be profiled by NEMA officials to ascertain that they were Nigerians before being allowed into the country.
A source at the Lagos airport disclosed that the illegal migrants were stranded in the North African country and voluntarily sought to return to Nigeria.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Nigerian Embassy in Libya did everything possible to assist bring them back.
The source adds that three of the returnees were reportedly very sick on arrival. One had burns all over his body and was writhing in pains. Two of them were brought back in a stretcher and they had to be wheeled into an ambulance for urgent medical attention.
According to IOM’s Operations Assistant, Mr. Juma Ben Hassan, one of the men had a motor accident while the one that who had burns stayed in a house that was gutted by fire. The man was first hospitalized in Libya, but later requested to return to the country.
This is the second time IOM would assist Nigerians to return home. Another batch of returnees are however expected be brought back in a few months’ time.