Over 100 Nigerians were yesterday deported from Europe after seeking asylum in Finland.
The asylum seekers arrived the cargo terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, at 7 a.m with a cargo airline, Privilege Gourmet. The deportees included women, children and some with their immediate family.A female deportee simply referred to as Mrs. Esther, said she and her husband had being in Finland for over 14 years, but were surprised that they were deported without committing an offence. She said she was deported along with her seven-year-old daughter and husband without any compensation.
According to her, other Africans in the camp were given an opportunity to stay and work in Finland, but the Finnish authority were hostile to Nigerians. According to her, most of the Nigerians at the asylum camp in Finland came from other European countries like Greece, Denmark, Sweden and Norway to seek asylum to be able to get documents to work. THISDAY was told that three deportee men were arrested for violence and were taken to the police station at the MMIA, while others were taken by a Sherrif bus to Alagbon, Lagos Island for travel offences. Speaking, another deportee, Mr. Isaac Ejiofor, said they had no criminal records in Finland, wondering why he should be deported after spending over one year in the asylum camp. Ejiofor said he was earlier in Greece but went to Finland to seek asylum for him to be able to get documents that would enable him work in the country.
“The policeman asked me what I want since I do not have any criminal record to warrant my deportation.“I said I wanted to work and live a normal life in Finland, so he (policeman) told me to seek asylum and I did that.“I was taken to the asylum camp and was there for about more than a year, processing my documents that will permit me to work.
“There were other African nationals there with four Nigerians. Suddenly, we the Nigerians were brought out and deported without any offence committed,’’ he said. He added that the Nigerian Embassy at Finland refused to come to their aid after paying 1,500 euro to the embassy officials in Finland.
Another deportee, who just wanted to be called Jackson, said the Nigerian Embassy officials in Finland colluded with the Finnish immigration authorities to extort money from asylum seekers in the camp.He said the embassy officials, however, promise to assist them to get their work permit from the Finnish authorited but failed to fulfill their promise.They appealed to the federal government to come to their aid, particularly Nigerians in Finland and other European nations.