A married Nigerian man who recently returned from Libya in a failed bid to make it to Europe illegally has recounted his sour tales.
Tell us about yourself.
I am Sunday Ehiagwina, 34, from Edo State.
Did you have a job before you left Nigeria?
I was a cobbler. I have been making shoes for seven years.
Why did you abandon the job?
I abandoned it because the job was not stable and some of my friends advised me to go to Italy. I left on April 15, 2017. I left with my wife. I paid N1.1m to one John Osaremwen. He is dead now. I heard he died in Benin City. The money was to take us to Italy. We went through Kano and Katsina to Libya. When we got to Libya, we were kept in a detention camp and ordered to pay money for our release. I paid N600,000 for my wife and myself.
When we were released, we went to Tripoli where we met one prince, a Ghanaian, who promised to take us to Italy. We paid him N400,000. We spent four months with him until the Libyan police came and arrested us. If a person tells me now that he wants to take me to Libya, I will arrest the person because that person wants me dead.
Were you assaulted?
I was beaten up by the Libyans. We did not eat well. They fed us with tasteless macaroni. At least, five persons died in my presence. They died in a prison. Some also died in the desert.
Is it true that some of the females were s*xually abused?
Yes, it is true. They were r*ped. We were kept separately from the women. A boy told me that he saw one of the Arabs r*ping a girl.
Was your wife s*xually abused?
No. She told me that she was not touched by anyone. My wife was already five months pregnant then. She is still pregnant now. It was by God’s grace that she did not lose her pregnancy.
How did you react when you heard that you would return home?
I was very happy because I had suffered enough and wanted to be free. When I got to Nigeria, I was happy. I appreciate the Federal Government and the state government for their assistance. But some persons are still in Gharyan prison in Libya. We have over 4,000 Nigerians there.