The Italian government has deported 40 Nigerians for committing various offences in the country.
The latest deportees who were all male arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos on Tuesday night in a chartered aircraft with registration number EL-SMU/3737.
Joseph Alabi, the spokesperson of the Lagos Airport Police Command, confirmed the development. According to him, 39 of the deportees were alleged to have committed immigration-related offences while one of them was allegedly involved in drug dealing.
He said the deportees were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, and the Police.
Also on ground to receive them were officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
It was gathered that the deportees were profiled by immigration authorities while those without serious charges were allowed to depart to their various destinations.
Thousands of Nigerians travel to Italy annually via Libya and the Mediterranean seeking greener pastures.
While some of the travellers make it to Italy where they are treated as refugees, many are trapped in Libya while some others die while crossing the Mediterranean.
It would be recalled that the Italian government had deported 37 Nigerians on March 8.
A week ago, the UK government deported 23 Nigerians for committing immigration-related offences in the country. This was one month after the UK government deported another 83 Nigerians. Most of the deportees were said to be living in the UK illegally as their travel documents had expired.
The federal had said the German government has notified it of plans to repatriate 12,000 Nigerians who are seeking asylum in the country.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed this on Tuesday at the public presentation of two books “From Libya with Tears’’ and “Practical News and Feature Writing’’ written by former Managing Editor/Director of News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Mr. Dele Bodunde.
Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa further said that about 128 Nigerians died while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. She described the situation as unfortunate, noting that it showed Nigerians desperation to get to Europe by all means.
“Just some days ago, 128 Nigerians died in the Mediterranean sea out of 576. Most of them were from West African countries and they were on their way to Europe.
“Now, this is an unfortunate incident and I think it is better to remain in Nigeria and keep struggling, instead of making desperate journeys that could take their lives.”