84 illegal migrants from Burkina Faso, others paraded in Lagos
Some of the migrants
No fewer than 84 illegal immigrants from Burkina Faso, Cote D Ivoire and Niger were paraded by the Lagos State Police Command yesterday. The illegal immigrants seeking for a greener life in Nigeria were intercepted aboard a boat by vigilant police officers of the command.
Commissioner of Police, Lagos State command, Fatai Owoseni, who paraded the suspects, told newsmen that the illegal immigrants from different parts of West Africa, claimed they were on their way to oil-rich Gabon.
The Guardian gathered that they were apprehended by policemen in conjunction with men of the Border Patrol Unit from Force Headquarters, Abuja at the Badagry axis of Lagos.
When they were profiled by investigators, it was discovered that their claim could not be held with a pinch of salt and they were kept in police custody for further interrogation.The immigrants, who looked unkempt and frail, were seen being driven into the premises of the Lagos State Police Command in three Hiace buses and an LT 35 Bus.
Speaking with newsmen, one of the immigrants, Jelili Mumuni, a Burkinabe, who claimed he is a professional painter and spoke through an interpreter, said he never knew that those whom he was lumped up with for the journey to Gabon, were illegal immigrants and that he embarked on the journey to honour the invitation extended to him by his brother, who is resident in that country.
He said his brother had told him that when he arrives the waterfront at Benin Republic, there would be a connecting boat that would take him to Gabon. “But I was shocked when policemen swooped on us here in Nigeria,” he said.
Another immigrant, who gave his name as Comparoare Musa, a Beninoise, said he is a casual worker in Burkina Faso, but was lured to undertake the journey when he was told that casual workers in Gabon earned twice what he is being paid in Burkina Faso.
He said he was surprised that the organizers of the journey had earlier told them that their take off point to Gabon would be in Benin Republic only for them to find themselves in Badagry, where they were subsequently arrested.
A visibly pleased Commissioner of Police reiterated his command’s resolve to spread its dragnet to all parts of the state, assuring that no illegal immigrant would find it easy to infiltrate into the state.He said the immigrants would be handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service for further investigation.
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