Omo Harry, a 40-year-old Libya returnee revisited the horror he went through alongside his company while embarking on a dangerous trip to Europe.
In order to escape the hardship known to Nigerians in their country, Harry and his friend Deniswho was accompanied by his girlfriend, Rita, left the shores of Nigeria in April 2016, but what lied ahead was far more grievous, which ensured the death of the latter, the only woman in their group.
Omo Harry gave an account of how his friend’s girlfriend, Rita was raped to death by some Libyans.
The 40-year-old man told the Vanguard News in an interview his experience in the hands of Libyan human traffickers.
“My friend, Denis, said I could travel to Europe if I could raise at least N500,000. He told me that he was also trying to raise same amount for an agent that would facilitate it.
I had to sell all my property, including the parcel of land I acquired at Ogudu Bale area of Ogun state. But I could only raise N350,000 at the end.
Denis was able to raise N300,000 while his girlfriend, Rita, had N250,000. The agent said he would complete the money but that we would pay him the balance when we got to Libya. When asked how, he said he would introduce us to someone, who would get us a job and that after paying his balance, we would proceed to Europe.
We bought gala, garri and bread and also bought two bags of sachet water as advised by the agent and left Lagos for Kano.
On arriving the border between Kano and Niger, the agent told us to bring N7000 out of the money with us.
These Libyan deportees have been telling tales of woes
As we approached the border, a Customs officer came, collected the money from us and asked us to wait until he gave the directive for us to cross thorough a bush path.
Finally, we arrived Qatrun, the first state in Libya. We were taken to a connection house. In that connection house were tranke which are camps where migrants who do not have the needed amount to continue the journey are kept.
On the first day at the Tranke, we were welcomed with good food. But at night, they began a roll call and separated those who had completed payment from those who hadn’t. Of course, myself, Denis and Rita were in the disadvantaged group.
At this point, the agent was nowhere to be found. In fact we were all confused as to what to do next. At this connection house, the head is called Capon. We also had OC Torture.
The Capo collects relatives number and demand money for captives to continue their journey. It was at that point that I got to know that Rita did not tell her parents she was traveling.
When she was given the phone to speak with her mother, we overheard her crying.
Rita’s parents sent N150,000, which covered three of us. We thought we were free, not knowing that the horror had only just begun.
From Qatrun, we were moved to Sahba, in Western Libya, where the main tranke called Ali ghetto is located. It is close to the University of Sahba. It was a place of no return.
From there, you are expected to pay another sum to cross to another connection house in Inias, from where you will embark on the sea trip to Europe.
When they demanded for more money, Rita said she would like to go back home. But they insisted that she must pay before going back.
Immediately we got there, they collected our international passports and tore them. They said they don’t allow people to embark on the sea trip with anything except the clothes on them. In my excitement, I called my people in Lagos and they sent N150,000.
Unfortunately, it could only take me , as Denis and Rita did not have money to cross the second huddle. Instead of leaving them behind, I kept my money and decided to wait until their relations could send money to them.”
Rita’s parents called to say that they had no money. Immediately the call was received, Rita was chained to an iron rod where White Libyans came and took turns to rape her.
This continued for two weeks without food . In one of the instances, Denis stood up to challenge one of the men but he had his ear chopped off with a hot iron rod that was plugged to a socket.
On the day she died, five boys first came, had their turns with her and left. At that point, she could only stare into space.
Ten minutes later, another set of young men came to have their turn. It was when the third person was on her that she was discovered to be motionless. Her body was there for two days before it was removed,” the narrator recounted.
African migrants on dingy boats trying to cross to Europe.
What appeared more shocking apart from the reports that some male sojourners were forced to have sex with Libyan men, was the involvement of Nigerian customs officers who received N7,000 each from the travellers in exchange for free passage.