OrderPaperToday – The Nigeria Immigration Service has accused some unnamed top politicians of shielding illegal immigrants to the extent of preventing officers from arrest and deportation.
This is as the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora has called on the Lebanese government to immediately stop victimization of a Nigerian lady, Temitope Olamide, who was reportedly maltreated by her employers and wrongly accused of murder as well as other Nigerians undergoing cruel treatment.
Controller of Immigration, Abuja airport command, Mrs. Sadat Hassan, made the accusation when members of the committee made an oversight visit to her office.
The chairman of the committee, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe (APC, Ogun), stressed that the Lebanese Government must be held responsible for the violation of Temitope’s rights as guaranteed under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
According to her “we are really concerned about Temitope because in the recent past two other Nigerian women have died in mysterious circumstances.
“A few months ago, a video of Temitope circulated on the internet regarding the violation of her human rights and that of other foreign domestic workers trafficked to Lebanon.
“However, in the case of Temitope, she has been prevented from being repatriated back to Nigeria and is currently being charged for murder. It is very obvious that these are trumped up charges to punish this young woman for taking on her employer and the system in Lebanon.
“In addition, this is also an attempt by the Lebanese Ambassador in Nigeria to pervert justice, as he has requested that the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) release a Lebanese national on trial for Human Trafficking in exchange for Temitope.”
The lawmaker further narrated that despite the cruel treatment meted on the lady and “after the case was exposed, the employer Diab was interrogated by the Lebanese Labor Ministry. At no point during this interrogation was the accusation of murder leveled against Temitope.
“When the repatriation flight was arranged, Temitope, was taken to the airport by the Nigerian authorities; however, she and 9 other women were prevented from boarding the flight home because Temitope’s blacklisted employer and some other employers intervened. As a result, these women were prevented from boarding the flight, including Temitope Olamide Ariwolo.
“When this incidence occurred Temitope sent out a message that she was not allowed to get on the plane to Nigeria, because Diab did not approve her departure from Lebanon. To date, the other Nigerian women prevented from boarding have since been released and are awaiting repatriation to Nigeria whilst Temitope is being held back and obviously cannot afford legal representation.
The committee also wondered how Nigerians get to travel out of country freely without objection and further interrogation by officials of the Immigration Service.
In her reaction, Mrs. Hassan said “if a citizen had a valued document and he or she is an adult, it is difficult to stop them, we don’t have a right to stop such a person.”