- A Nigerian man identified as Seun was held in a makeshift prison run by a Libyan hunchback man called Ali
- He narrated how he endured flogging sessions known as "Morning Tea” until he was able to pay his ransom
- He has now been repatriated back and advises Nigerians against embarking on such a journey
A Nigerian man Seun Femi, who tried to get to Europe through the Sahara Desert, has narrated his brutal ordeal in a make-shift prison in Libya.
In an interview with BBC, Seun narrated how his captors beat him for 4 months in the prison.
The 34-year-old man said: "They would flog my head, my hands, my bum. The guard would beat me until he got tired."
Seun revealed that during one of the beating sessions, two of his fingers were broken.
According to him, it could have even been worse as one man was beaten to death in front of him.
He said he thought he would also die there.
Seun fell into the hands of militias in the Libyan city of Sabha as he attempted to cross from Libya into Europe.
The Nigerian man was held for ransom by the militias, alongside 300 other African migrants.
According to Seun, the makeshift prison was run by a hunchback Libyan called Ali.
He said the place was a half-constructed building and the male migrants, mainly from Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal, were separated into large rooms called ghettos.
Seun says he was held in the Nigeria ghetto.
In two of the ghettos, called Ghana and VIP (for very important person), the guards would extort a higher ransom in order for the migrants to be freed.
In his words: "We were packed on the floor like sardines when we tried to sleep".
In the prison there was little food but enough bottled water so the migrants would not die of thirst due to the heat.
According to Seun, the prison guards had nicknames like ‘Rambo’ and they would beat the migrants and then hand them a phone.
He said: "They would let us phone our people once a day.
"They would whip us while we were on the call so our families would get the message.
“We would beg them to send us money."
Seun needed to a pay a ransom of approximately $500 which was to be deposited in a bank account in Nigeria.
But he did not have the money.
He begged his ex-girlfriend to sell his car.
He said: "It was in bad shape. It took three months for her to sell it.
"There were no buyers."
His ransom was finally paid last December and Seun thought he was free.
But then, his captors informed him that he needed to pay a "gate-fee" of approximately $50.
He had no money.
But then, his gate fee was miraculously paid by a Nigerian baker who sold bread at the prison and had taken pity on him.
Seun said: "He helped me a lot by taking me out of that place - it's bad, very bad."
Seun paid the baker back by working in his bakery for several weeks.
After he finally left Sabha, he proceeded to Tripoli but he was arrested and detained by Libyan police.
Seun was repatriated to Nigeria in April.
Now, he is back in Lagos and jobless.
He says he regrets ever leaving Nigeria for Europe.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that another batch of one hundred and seventy-five (175) Nigerians voluntarily returned from Libya on Tuesday, June 20, aboard a chartered Nouvelair aircraft with registration number TS-INA.
The aircraft landed at 7.50 pm at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Watch this NAIJ.com TV video asking Nigerians if they believe the country is still the giant of Africa