RIGHTSView: Ordeal of an asylum seeker – Roland Okiyi – in Belgium

Posted by Emmanuel Onwubiko | 12 March 2014 | 4,710 times

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Daily, the international press informs and educates its millions of audience on disturbing cases of unprecedented upsurge of asylum seekers in Europe from Africa and other developing societies. A number of these refugees are classified as economic migrants but a lot more of these applicants have genuine reasons to want to migrate to the developed societies and some of these reasons are related to imminent and real danger and/or threats to their lives in their countries of origin.

As good members of the United Nations and the European Union, most of these nations in Europe do sometimes admit these asylum seekers based on merit.

Last October, we were approached by a Good Samaritan who called our attention to the ordeals of a Nigerian asylum applicant in Belgium who is so afraid that he may be deported to his home country of Nigeria where he may be killed by some persons who have launched a manhunt for him over some communal crisis in Abia State.

The man is so afraid that he believes that even if he is deported and he succeeds in relocating to another part of Nigeria, his adversaries will have a way of locating him and sniffing the life out of him. Since most parts of Northern Nigeria are witnessing civil unrest and cases of armed terrorism, this gentleman would not want to be asked to go to Northern Nigeria since that will amount to double jeopardy.

When we got wind of this particular matter, we immediately kick-started a probe of the reasons for this man’s sojourn in Belgium to test the ground and verify the genuineness or otherwise of his asylum application. At the end of over four months investigative period, we found out that all the reasons he adduced for his application are genuine. This compelled us to step in and write the Embassy of Belgium in Abuja to seek for better understanding of the asylum application by the gentleman, Mr. Roland Uba Okiyi.

In our letter we told the Ambassador thus: “We hereby write to first of all wish you the best as you continue to work to build better diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and your home country of Belgium.”

Because courtesy demands that we properly introduce ourselves, we did not hesitate in telling the Embassy that we are a pro-democracy group registered by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

As for the main reason for writing the letter, we wrote: 

“Our attention was called to the untold hardship and frustration that a citizen of Nigeria who fled because of pending and subsisting reasonable grounds of fear for imminent threats to his dear life has being going through to secure a status as an asylum beneficiary in your country.

“We have sent our team of investigators to the community in Abia State South East Nigeria from where this asylum applicant fled to your country and we were able to verify most of the reasons for his life-saving action to take flight before his precious life is destroyed by some armed hoodlums who have vowed to kill him should he be seen around the state or even neighbouring states and as you may be aware the state of insecurity all over the country in Nigeria has become disturbingly painful.

“The story of this applicant started as follows; He [the said asylum applicant in Belgium] traveled with his passport that bear his name as Roland Uba Okiyi and date of birth as 08 / Jun / 65. 

“Mr. Uba Abosi Nwogburu Okiyi is the same person with passport bearing his other names as Roland Uba Okiyi and his real date of birth is 8th June, 1971 in Abiriba, now Abia State Nigeria and is from Ndi Egbo Umueso, Ameke Community Abiriba and lived in Ndi Agwu Ndukwo Okoronkwo’s compound, Omaghuzo,  Amogudu Community Abiriba. 

“In our possession is a letter from the Ukpaghiri of Amogudu Community. Ref.: ACA/AUK-INN/2013/158 dated 28/06/2013 and a Case File of Suit N° HOH/1/2009 in Ohafia High Court of Abia State of Nigeria instituted reportedly by Madam Ijeoma Ogbuwa against Mr. Uba Abosi Nwogburu Okiyi.

“During the course of our findings, we were made to understand that Mr. Uba Abosi Nwogburu Okiyi was falsely accused to be responsible for the death of an elderly man who was a member of the ruling cabinet and a prominent man in the community late Chief Obikpe Kalu Eke died 2008 and lived in Amelu, Amogudu Community Abiriba.

“The death of late Chief Obikpe Kalu Eke sparked intra-communal bloody clashes and which was eventually brought to an end after strenuous effort on the part of some influential community leaders. In another case was a law suit filed by Madam Ijeoma Ogbuwa against Mr. Uba Abosi Nwogburu Okiyi in Ohafia High Court of Abia State of Nigeria Suit No HOH/1/2009 claiming 10,000.000.00 naira for public slander.”

RIGHTSVIEW appears thrice a week on Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays. The Columnist, popular activist Emmanuel Onwubiko, is a former Federal Commissioner of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission and presently National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA).

Source: News Express

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