Chinedu Eze

The Libyan government friday deported 172 Nigerians over several immigration irregularities.

The deportees arrived the hajj camp area of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport around 7:00 am comprising 166 males and six females. They wore dreadful faces, frustrated and despondent and we’re hostile to anyone that made enquiries about them.

Head of Public Relations, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Mr. Ekpedeme King confirmed the deportation with on telephone.

The registration number of the aircraft that brought them into the country was not known but Libya might have hired a private aircraft as it national carrier, Afrikiya had remained grounded.

This was confirmed by aviation workers who were on hand when the flight landed.

The returnees were received by various agencies such as Immigration that checked their identities to ascertain their nationalities, Police, National Agency for Protection and Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and other relevant organisations.

Shortly after arrival the refugees, who were eager not to be identified, left the Lagos airport to their homes or other destinations.

Immigration source said the deportees were returned to the country for overstaying their visas in Libya in addition to committing other immigration offences in the North African country.

The source said, “What I can tell you is that some Nigerians were deported today (yesterday) for immigration offences. Most of those brought overstayed Libya.

One of the deportees, who simply identified himself as Chris claimed that he travelled out of Nigeria about two years ago in search of greener pastures. He however insisted that he didn’t commit any crime in Libya that would warrant his deportation back to Nigeriam

Since the political crisis in Libya, THISDAY learnt life has been difficult for most residents in Libya.

Deportation of Nigerians has been an ongoing thing as about 76 Nigerians were deported from three European countries including United Kingdom last November.