By TEMILADE ENIOLA
Contrary to widespread speculation, the United Kingdom Government on Wednesday clarified that only 48 Nigerians, not 500 were deported.
The British Broadcasting Corporation had reported in the morning that a plane carrying about 500 Nigerians deportees from the UK had landed at the MMIA. The reported quoted some of the deportees as saying that they were not happy to come back.
However, the NIS officials said only 48 Nigerians deportees arrived from the UK.
Nigeria had recently expressed concern over the UK’s plan to deport 29,000 Nigerians, and has insisted that due process be followed before Nigerians are removed from the UK.
But a top immigration officials at MMIA, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the 48 deportees had nothing to do with the 29,000 Nigerians that the UK was planning to deport back into the country.
The Federal Government had said the UK must ensure that those been deported are really Nigerians, medically fit to travel and have a role to play in the country – meaning they should be able to fit into Nigerian society.
The deportees came aboard a chartered plane that touched down at the Hajj and Cargo Terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 8am, our correspondent gathered.
The Spokesperson of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Mr. Ekpedeme King, who confirmed the development, said the Nigerians were deported for immigration-related offences.