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KonkNaija Media | May 9, 2016

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Victims tell their touching stories | How we were deported from Lagos to Onitsha

If you have been following the story, on Wednesday, July 24, 67 people,mostly Igbos were reportedly deported from Lagos and dumped in Onithsa at 3:20 am .They claimed they were arrested by KIA(Kick Against Indisipline)and some say they had been in jail with no contact with their families since December

Below are touching stories of two of these deportees as reported by Vanguard

Rosemary Nathaniel, a native of Ubakala in Umuahia, Abia State, 

“I was neither a beggar nor a hawker for the past five years I lived in Lagos. I was working at a T-shirt weaving center at Mile 2, Lagos and I lived with my sister but in January, this year, the KAI officials arrested me and my friend while we were standing and discussing”.

On how she was arrested, 
Rosemary stated that she was  just standing somewhere discussing  with one of her friends and all of a sudden, the KAI officials, accompanied by some policemen double-crossed and dragged them into their waiting vehicle and then off-loaded them at a prison in Alausa area of Lagos

She noted that it was when they were forced into the vehicle that they saw others who were already inside the vehicle, adding that as they moved about, more persons were arrested and dragged into the vehicle until the vehicle was filled to the brim.

She said that up till now, her sister had never known her whereabout since then because the KAI officials did not even ask them where they lived or where they worked  or who are their relations, adding that if she is able to get a transport fare, she would like to go back to her sister in Lagos.

Another deportee who identified himself as Osondu Mbuto from Ohaozara in Ebonyi State and who claimed to be a petty trader in Lagos, said he was arrested by the same KAI officials who were in the company of some policemen, while going to his shop on December 18, last year.

Mbuto who noted that he was picked up forcefully by government officials with armed policemen while trying to go to his shop one morning. added that he had been in the Ikorodu unofficial detention camp without having contact with his family and friends for over eight months before they were bundled to Onitsha that day.

According to Mbuto,
“I am a Lagos-based petty trader but on that December 18 fateful day, I packed my load somewhere and decided to go and buy something and exercise myself and as I was walking on the road, I saw three persons who came and approached me. Initially, I thought they were all these people who snatch peoples’ bags and I thought I could scare them away by giving them a little change from my pocket.

“All of a sudden, “he continued, “I saw an armed policeman in uniform who pointed his gun at me as he ordered me to follow the KAI officials and out of fear, I joined them as they marched me into a waiting vehicle and drove away.

“My initial suspicion was that they were taking us to Alausa police station, where they used to detain people unlawfully only to release them later with a specific amount of  fee for bail. But this time around, they took me to another place called Ikorodu which is different from Ikeja local government. That place is very close  to Ijebu Ode”.

He said after taking his statement, they put him into their cell, adding that it was two days before their deportation to Onitsha that one of their elders came and asked that those who would want to go home should write down their name, which he did.

He said those of them who wrote their names and indicated their interest to go home were later separated from others and were later pushed into a vehicle down to Onitsha where they were dumped at the Upper Iweka Flyover at about 3.20 a.m.