A judge in the Nigerian capital Abuja has awarded compensation to 24 men because they were detained illegally for two months . . .[restrict]after being repatriated from Libya during the revolution.
The money, equivalent to $625 each, is to be paid because the men were detained without trial on the orders of Nigerian National Security Adviser (NSA), retired General Owoye Azazi. Justice Bilikisu Aliyu of the Federal High Court ruled their imprisonment had been a breach of their human rights. She ordered they be compensated.
It is not clear what the Nigerians were doing in Libya. Before his ouster, the dictator Muammar Qaddafi had been cooperating with European Union authorities to stem the flow of illegal migrants passing through Libya from sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria’s citizens were among the nationalities arrested and deported as illegal immigrants. In September and October 2009, more than a thousand Nigerians were flown back to Lagos.
Equally, workers from Nigeria were caught up in the revolution, many losing jobs, pay and homes. Most tried to keep out of trouble or made the hazardous journey back to Nigeria via Niger.
The route they took was later followed by fleeing mercenaries from the fallen regime’s shattered army. In January, 100 Nigerians suspected of being hired guns for the Qaddafi regime were detained at Kaduna on the Niger-Nigerian border and arrested. Some reportedly travelled with their families. They claimed to have been wandering in the desert for over three weeks. [/restrict]