Two Nigerians illegal immigrants have reportedly stripped themselves naked to protest arrest by the Italian police. The incident occurred recently following threats by the Italian government to deport the two immigrants to Nigeria, after they were allegedly arrested for constituting nuisance in their neighborhood.
An account of the incident by our correspondent said the duo, one Christantus Okonkwo who hails from Orlu in Imo State and John Osagie aka (Papy) from Benin, Edo State, were arrested by the Italian police who found them drunk and disturbing the neighbourhood. The decision to deport the suspects followed the discovery by the police that they had been living in the country illegally. They were subsequently detained for two days.
Daily Sun gathered that the two men, who were later moved to a deportation camp, staged a protest at the Malpensa International Airport Milan by stripping naked to attract the sympathy of the immigration officials to rescind the decision to deport them.
Although their protest fell on the deaf ears of the immigration officials and almost met a brickwall but for the intervention of a fellow Nigerian said to be married to an Italian lady who was touched by the protest.
Eyewitnesses said the timely intervention of the man whose name was not mentioned saved the situation, as he was quick to contact a lawyer. As at the time of filing this report both Okonkwo and Osagie had been moved to a refugee camp pending the outcome of their petition by their lawyer over their deportation matters.
It was gathered that Okonkwo had lived in Europe for 12 years without a residence permit, while John Osagie who entered the country illegally from Libya to seek political asylum, which the Italian government denied him chose to remain there for the past 2 years.
When arrested, Osagie it was reported could not present proof of a political asylum status. Chris Okonkwo who came into Europe since 2000 said he lived in France for 4 years where he sought political asylum and was denied for no evidence.
After four years in France, he moved to the Netherlands where he stayed for one year before moving into Italy in 2005 and had been living there for the past seven years. Due to frustration, Chris has turned himself into a drunk which made the Italian police to marked him as an insane person,”,a witness said.
When asked why he went naked at the Airport, Chris said “ having spent 12 years in Europe as a whole without achieving anything how can I go back to Nigeria empty handed. I have no papers, no job, no wife and children, no house of my own both in Nigerian and in Europe. I have not achieved anything in Nigeria. I don’t want to go back to Nigeria to face the shame.” He however, appealed to the Italian and Nigerian governments to intervene in his case.