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‘They frustrated, detained us,’ Nigerians deported from Turkey narrate ordeals

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'They frustrated, detained us,' Nigerians deported from Turkey narrate ordeals

Nigerians who were on Friday deported from Turkey have narrated how they were targeted by the authorities in the Middle East country.

Turkey had deported 103 Nigerians over expired visas and migration-related issues.

Catherine Udida, director of migration affairs, National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), received the deportees at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Friday.

Udida, who was represented by Tijani Ahmed, federal commissioner, NCFRMI, said the commission expected 110 deportees but received 103.

“Some of them have been in the deportation camp for some months, and now that they are here, we are hoping to follow up on all the allegations gathered in their profiling,” she said.

The director said some of the deportees alleged that their passports were seized.

“We are going to follow up with the Turkish authority because the passports are still the property of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Udida said.

Arinze Stone, a deportee, said Turkish authorities arrested and detained him in a camp for about six months.

Stone said despite living in Turkey for some years, officials frustrated his resident permit renewal after the European Union (EU) started paying the Middle Eastern country for illegal immigrants.

“Each day, the European Union pays 120 euros per head of immigrants in the immigration camp,” NAN quoted Stone as saying.

“Ever since I had been in Turkey, I always had my resident permit renewed.

“It just got expired and the Turkish authority collected 700 euros from me for tax and insurance and then cancelled the renewal.”

Moses Emeh who has a registered company in Turkey, said he was arrested and put in a dungeon for 11 months and three weeks.

“I was told that if I did not sign the deportation documents, I would have to stay in their custody for one year to two years, after which I could be released and given immigration documents to sign, then be reintegrated into the system. But, they never fulfilled that,” said Emeh

“I also know that occupying a territory without a permit is a crime, but mine was forcibly terminated twice, and I took the case to court. Since my case was already in court and the court was yet to preside over my case, I don’t think it is right for them to deport me.”

Bashir Garga, the north-central zonal coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), assured the returnees of the government’s readiness to support them through collaborative efforts of all relevant agencies.

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