560 stranded Nigerians repatriated from Libya

560 stranded Nigerians repatriated from Libya

No fewer than 560 Nigerian returnees arrived in Port Harcourt on Saturday night, bringing to 1,590, the number repatriated from Libya since January 7.

More than 6,000 distressed Nigerians were deported from troubled Libya in 2017.

Mr Matins Ejike, South-South zonal coordinator of NEMA and other officials received the returnees on Saturday night.

They arrived at the airport on board Max Air, with registration Number 5N-HMM at 11:52 p.m with 540 adult and 20 infant on board.

Ejike expressed dissatisfaction over poor response of some state governments in evacuating the Libyan returnees from the reception centre in Port Harcourt.

He said that the federal government gave the states a maximum of 48 hours to enable them evacuate their returnees from the reception centre and expressed dismay over failure by some states to adhere to the rule.

According to him, the South-West states predominantly were not responding.

The Federal Government evacuated 1,030 migrants from Libya between January 7 and January 8, 2018.

Meanwhile, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it will prosecute those involved in the trafficking of Nigerians to Libya to serve as deterrent to others.

The Director-General of NAPTIP, Ms Julie Okah-Donli, said this while fielding questions from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

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Okah-Donli explained that in the process of profiling of the returnees, the information of how they got to Libya and the persons responsible would be taken to identify the traffickers and punish them accordingly.

She said that her officers and men are currently in Libya to get necessary information on those responsible for the trafficking of Nigerians whether they are in this country or abroad, they must be arrested and dealt with according to law.

According to her, if any suspected trafficker in Libya is identified and the person is not willing to come back, such suspect must be repatriated to face the trial in Nigeria.

“Information is critical, we are in a process to get useful information from the returnees that will lead to the arrest of those involved in the trafficking business.

“We are working seriously to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book no matter who is involved,” she said.

Okah-Donli, who is part of the Federal Government delegation to evacuate Nigerians from Libya, disclosed that so far 972 returnees have been brought back to the country.

She explained that 485 returnees were evacuated on Sunday and another 487 were also received in Port Harcourt on Monday.

The director-general said that her agency had begun counselling of the returnees in the camp in Port Harcourt before they were taken to shelters for continuation of the counselling.

She added that victims of human trafficking among the returnees, after going through medical examination and counselling, would be rehabilitated before they are integrated into the society. (NAN)

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