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Turkey deports 103 Nigerians: ‘EU pays them €120 per detained immigrant daily’ — Returnee

One of the 103 Nigerians deported from Turkey on Friday has said that their host country gets €120 daily per immigrant held at the detention camp.

The Federal Government had received no fewer than 103 Nigerians deported from Turkey over migration-related issues such as expired visa, irregular migration, among others.

Alhaji Tijani Ahmed, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) stated this on Friday evening.

He spoke to newsmen during the deportees’ profiling in Abuja.

‘We were expecting 110 deportees’

Represented by Amb. Catherine Udida, the Director of Migration Affairs in the commission, Ahmed said that the commission expected 110 deportees but received 103, all males.

“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.

“We will go through the profiling forms, because some of them have said that their passports were seized.

“We are going to follow up with the Turkish authority. The passports are still the property of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he assured.

According to him, the NCFRMI is the mandate agency responsible for all returnees, irrespective of their status.

“We equally have a programme where we train them and thereafter reintegrate them into the society,” the Federal Commissioner stated.

Similarly, Mr Bashir  Garga, the North-Central Zonal Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA),  assured the returnees of government readiness to support them through collaborative efforts of all relevant agencies.

– I was detained for 6 months — Deportee

One of the victims, Mr Arinze Stone,  said that Turkish authorities arrested and detained him in the camp for about six months.

Stone said he had been living in Turkey for quite some years doing business.

“They were arresting people whose paper are not yet out or just expired,” he said.

He alleged that it was since the European Union started paying Turkey for illegal immigrants, that the government stopped issuing and renewing resident permits.

“Each day, the European Union pays 120 Euros per head of immigrants in the Immigration Camp.

“Ever since I had been in Turkey, I always had my resident permit renewed. It just got expired and Turkish authority collected 700Euros from me for tax and insurance and then cancelled the renewal,” he explained.

Stone added that the deportation fee of about 2,500 Euros that was supposed to be given to each victim was not paid.

– ‘I have been running a company for 8 years’

Another victim, Mr Moses Emeh, said he had a registered company in Turkey which had been functioning for more than eight years.

“I also have a resident permit, which was forcibly cancelled but I had earlier planned to convert it into working permit.

”I don’t know where to start from. But I believe this is a diplomatic issue and I trust our foreign affairs minister, to follow it up.

“I also think that they should have a sensitisation programme for  Nigerians still living over there in Turkey, because the Turkish government is not being sincere and transparent with us,”  Emeh stated

He narrated that 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 will 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.

“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,” he added.

The returnees were given some dignity kits, starter packs and stipends to enable them travel to their respective places.

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