C/O Savanna Express Magazine Ltd.
2nd March, 2015.
Ambassador Aminu Wali,
Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Off Ahmadu Bello Way,
P.M.B. 130 Abuja,
PETITION ABOUT MY INHUMAN TREATMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH KOREA
I Mr. Amobi Nwilo wish to bring to your notice the level of inhuman treatment meted to me and so many other Nigerians living in the Republic of South Korea. I will start by introducing myself and expressing my confidence in your person and office.
My name is Mr. Amobi Nwilo, I am from Nise community in Awka south local government area in Anambra state, Nigeria my decision to petition your office is borne on my deep conviction and confidence in your person and office, having heard about your commitment in defending innocent Nigerians that are being maltreated abroad.
IN THE BEGINNING
I will start my story by first Narrating on what transpired in the year I went to South Korea in search of greener pasture. I first traveled to South Korea in 2001 and returned back to Nigeria and then traveled back to south Korea again in September 2002, after my return back to south Korea, I got a working permit visa in less than one year of my stay without any criminal record, after that I got a job in IS-Textile company, a textile manufacturing company where I worked for twelve (12) years without any criminal record.
After some years precisely in 2005 I got married to a south Korean lady Miss Kim Kyun Hae by name and we were married for about seven (7) years with the marriage not producing any child, after about seven years of marriage precisely in 20012 Oct. 12 we called off the marriage by obtaining official divorce, this was done due to our Irreconcilable differences before the divorce in 2010 I was wrongly accused by a Korean lady for rape, I took up the case and decided to get a legal assistant but my wife then pleaded with me not to go out with the case because of its time consuming nature, compelled with the fact that I am a foreigner. The police over there after speaking with my then wife advised me not to go on with the case, that it is better I should settle with the girl but I insisted on going on with the case. Because of the information I got that the Korean girl in question collaborated with a Nigerian, One Mr. Christopher Nwosisi from Ogidi Community in Anambra State and another Nigerian Mr. Stanley Nwofor from Mbano in Imo State to extort money from me.
But after so much persuasion from my then wife, Yong San Police Officers and Nigerian Embassy to settle the case instead of going to court, I decided to consider their suggestions. Owing to the fact that the Korean law States that any case settled out of court is considered a closed case. At the closing of the case I paid the sum of Ten Thousand (s10,000) dollars to the Korean girl, the amount was considered cheaper than engaging the services of a Korean legal professional to pursue the case. During the closing of the case, my ex-wife, and the said lady signed the settlement papers which was given to us from the Korean Court of law, the presiding judge, a female judge said I have been acquitted and discharged as the case has been closed. I continued to live my normal crime free life in the Republic of South Korea still going for my annual visa extension without any problem until 2013.
Immediately after the case I applied for residency papers which was long over due but I was told to wait for two years that if there is no criminal record against me that I will get my residency, though I was disappointed by that condition but I decided to wait, and the immigration continued to extend my visa stay without any job until August 2012. When I decided to re-apply for the residency visa status. Before my divorce with my ex-wife in October, 2012. Officially notified the immigration authorities that I am embarking on a divorce with my wife and they said they cannot give the residence permit for me until I get the divorce papers, after our divorce I got the divorce papers and went to immigration and submitted it. But they started demanding to know the cause of the divorce and I told them it is irreconcilable difference, but the truth is that she did a permanent family planning and never informed me for the period of seven years we lived together so after much insistence from the immigration officers I told them the truth and they said I should get the hospital report to prove what I said and I told them that they know that it is not in my power to get another persons medical report from the hospital, then I suggested that they should call my x-wife and demand for the result from her, or that we, me, my x-wife and the immigration officials to go to a hospital to conduct a test to know the truth, but they knowing that I was right declined tactically. Although they said that they have all my records and found I have no criminal record. They requested again that I should bring my house papers and my bank account so that I can collect my permanent residence card: But on arriving at the immigration office on April 15th 2013 a young immigration lady told me that she spoke with my x-wife and they are not comfortable with my continuous stay in their country and I asked why and she couldn’t give me any reason, I reminded her that my stay has not expired that I only want to change my visa status from annual to extension to permanent residency which by their law I was already over qualified to receive. I also reminded her that they were the people that asked me to come and collect it. But she said she cannot release it to me, she then asked me how much did my x-wife paid me after the divorce, knowing that she is the cause of the divorce, I told her that she didn’t pay me any damage, she said but you will still demand for damages and I said no then she asked me do you know I can send you back to your country? And I asked why, on what condition and for what reason. And I fervently asked again why she said I shouldn’t ask. So I said I am going to call my country embassy and inform them and she smiled and said there is nothing my country embassy can do, but I quickly contacted the embassy immediately and they promised to come. Then she asked me to come to the next room and I obediently went there and found eight huge immigration men, who ordered me to pull off my clothes and I asked why but they came seized my hands and forcefully pulled off my clothes and said they have arrested me but in utter surprise and amazement I kept asking Them what is my offence, what have I committed but there was no answer till today and one of them said ah this Nigerian just go to your country, just get out of our country, the next thing I saw was that they handcuffed me like a common criminal and drove me to a place that I later found out that it was a UN refugee camp in Hwasong, where I spent three (3) days without food and water, while I was incarcerated at the UN refugee camp my daily questions to the immigration officer was that what is my offence and some of them said they were told illegal STAY, some said different things which were all lies, but I told them that I still have the papers they gave me that stated that I have the liberty to stay in South Korea until my alien card is out, and that I have never committed any crime in South korea, one day one of the immigration officer Mr Jang by name said Mr. Nwilo we know you have not done anything wrong, we have checked your records and we found nothing wrong, but our authority brought you here, but don’t worry we will be taking care of you but I remembered clearly that a day to my arrest my x-wife called and said she is no longer comfortable with my continuous stay in Korea and I asked why and she said because I could wake up in the future and decide to sue her for marriage damages but I told her I am not interested In that, then at my point of arrest I called and she confirmed that she spoke with the immigration and the immigration lady confirmed that they spoke with my x-wife, but what baffled me most is that while all these things were happening I was giving the embassy update information and the embassy never showed up until after three months of my incarceration. They finally showed up they asked me some questions and I answered them, when I told them about the closed case of four years they said I should forget about it, that they were aware of it and that it is not a case. After about three months of my incarceration I contacted the Korean administrative court for assistance through my church member who happens to be my friend in the person of Miss Sora Kim. After series of legal battles between the immigration and the administrative court the administrative lawyer advised me to get a private legal professional involved. Saying that he has critically studied my case and found out that the immigration has no case against me but he is wondering why they are still refusing to let me go. Based on this advise I called Mr. Tony Ebipado the senior consul and head of chancel of Nigerian embassy in South Korea, he said it is okay that I should go ahead and get a private legal professional. By first August 01|08|2013, I contracted a Korean legal professional in the person of Bar Lee Ki Yeon. After going through my documents he expressed anger over the Korean immigration’s attitude towards me and promised that he is not only going to fight for my release but he is also going to file a case of damages against the Korean immigration authority but I told him that my main interest then is to get me out of the refugee camp (illegally converted to immigration cell). He showed some sign of commitment initially and promised that he is going to finish the case within the next five to six months and ensure that I am released, he will institute a litigation against the Korean immigration authority concerning my illegal arrest and detention, time wasting and denial of permanent residency. He started the case very well initially and I exercise patience with him but about three months into the case he suddenly changed: he stopped answering my calls and the calls of our fifteen Nigerians who held meeting with him. He did this for over one month until my church member Miss Sora Kim and Mrs. Hyuna Lee called and held a meeting with him, at the meeting he was still giving excuses but still promised that he was going to win the case, but in April which was the eight month of his contract, after several calls and text messages were put across to his phone he reluctantly called and answered Miss Kim Sora and said he is sorry that he is having pressures from some vested interests to drop the case, after about two days he is sorry that he has lost the case, so I asked him what is happening? Some days ago you said you were under pressure to drop the case and now you are saying you lost the case, that I strongly suspect conspiracy between you and the immigration authority. Meanwhile I paid him a legal fee of (s 5, 000, 00) five thousand dollars.
. Few days later the immigration officers brought what they claimed was a printed copy of my case judgment but I told them pointedly that they are not the one that should bring my case, judgment paper to me that it is my lawyers responsibility to do that, but I never saw the lawyers again when I called him and ask him to refund my money since he is not interested in the case again he said he will not and that I can do nothing, I threatened him that I will report him to my embassy he laughed a scornful laugh ,and asked me what do you think your embassy can do. Meanwhile throughout all the one year that I spent in cell no Nigerian embassy official ever showed up despite the fact that I was calling them every day to keep them informed about what is happening to me. But after the lawyers unprofessional attitude I wrote a letter officially to the embassy and told them to ask him why he should make such comment that Nigerian embassy cannot do anything but I did not know what was the outcome of that meeting, but I wrote another letter to the Nigerian embassy explaining to them that since the Korean immigration don’t want the case to be decided by the court of competent jurisdiction that they should settle all the damages they have caused me so I can return to my country. I gave a copy of that letter to the immigration officials in Hwasong. Two days later the immigration official called me for a meeting and informed me that the embassy has called them and discussed the letter within them. The immigration told me that my claim of four years damages is wrong, that they can only pay for two years damages, we argued about that for some minutes and they suggested that I should go back to my country and come back after one year I rejected the suggestion and told them that once I live for my country I will never come back again. So they said okay that I should go that they have discussed my claims with their higher rank officers, later I told them that I am okay with the two years damages, that if they will pay it I will leave their country immediately.
NIGERIAN EMBASSY ROLE
Mr. Tony Ebipado promised me on behalf of the embassy that the embassy will take over my case when I complained to him about their inability to visit me, he promised me that the Nigerian ambassador in South Korea Mr. Desmond Akawor will send some people to come and visit me, but I never saw any Nigerian embassy until the day I had worst humiliation of my life in 2014. On many occasions the immigration will scornfully ask me where are my embassy officials who promised to come, but I will not answer them anything. When I felt convinced in my spirit that I am not getting any help from our Nigerian embassy I decided to run to some Nigerian dignitaries through some concerned Nigerians living in Korea. I informed his Excellency Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife a former governor of Anambra state, I also informed the secretary to the government of the federation. Senator Pius Anyim and also the minister of state for foreign affairs Prof (Mrs. Viola Onwuliri) I believed that my complaint and some other complaints from other Nigerians living in South Korea made Hon. Mrs. Onwuliri and some of her officials to visit South Korea in 2014. When I heard about her visit I had some relieve but after many months of her visit I didn’t hear anything again from the Nigerian embassy but I kept calling them. A Nigerian living in South Korea once called the Nigerian ambassador Mr. Desmond Akawor to discuss my case with him and he told him that he is already aware of my case on October Tuesday 21 2014 five Korean immigration officials called me for a meeting to discuss my claims. They told me that my claims of ($100, 000) one hundred thousand dollars as damages is too much that the immigration authority cannot afford to pay such amount, but they can afford to pay a maximum of thirty thousand dollars ($ 30, 000) I told them to give me time to think about it on Thursday 23rd of October 2014 they called me again and I told them that I can only manage about ($60, 000) sixty thousand dollars, they said okay that they will discuss it with their superiors, but I didn’t hear anything from them again. Then on November 26th 2014 by eight pm in the night they came with hand cuff and handcuffed my hands and legs without prior information, they took me to the Incheon international air port but instead of taking me through the checking in the counter they took me through the back of the airport straight to the aircraft where they removed the rubber they put in my mouth and covered my eyes I realize that I was at the airport and in front of Ethiopian airline and they pushed me to enter the flight then I raised my voice and told the airlines and the passengers what is happening and I pleaded with the people to ask the Korean immigration officers what is my offence even if its one offence but they couldn’t give any tangible reason then the air officials got visibly angry with the immigration and told them point blank we cannot carry this man, go and settle him. One of the airline officials a woman I feel she is the chief airline hostess asked them ( the Korean immigration) what did this man do, even many already seated passengers of the airline stood up and asked severally and asked them what did this young man do but they couldn’t answer anything, they were only saying we are sorry we are sorry. Then the airline woman called me and apologized on behalf of the airline she said that the immigration lied to the airline that I am the one who has chosen to go back to my country please verify and investigate these claims by contacting the Ethiopian airline to request for the CCTV camera and the information on what happened with their airline scheduled from Incheon international airport on 26/11/2014 by 10pm right in my presence the three Korean immigration officials promised the airlines that they will settle me before deporting me. But by the time they took me back to their car they pulled my hands off and handcuffed me again they gave me the beating of my life, beating me with sticks and hands and my eyes was swollen. When we got back to the refugee camp they took me to one small room and kept me there without any room heater with a room temperature of about one degree. I was in that room for six days without food, water and no bathing until I fell seriously sick on the sixth day and I am crying that I am dying and they came and brought me out and gave me some warm liquid to drink and food to eat and gave me some medication which I took for five days and then he took me to a normal room. You can also confirm this claim through one Evang. Justus onyeke who’s also incarcerated, because he witnessed my condition in the immigration cell and threatened that he will report them to the united nation’s human right defence office if I die there. Even as I am writing this petition now I am overwhelmed with pains and depression remembering what I went through. This Evang. Justus onyeke called our Nigerian Embassy immediately and informed them of my condition and the Embassy promised to come but they never did. Then after some weeks I wrote a letter to the embassy asking to know what is their effort about my condition, three days later after sending the letter I called the consular general and chief chancellor and he Mr. Tony Ebipado said I should not worry that the embassy have sent a letter duly signed by the Nigerian ambassador to South Korea Mr. Desmond Akawor himself the consular Mr. Tony Ebipado the embassy secretary. I solely accord my hope on his words and promises that knowing that it was a fact, hope and promises, because on the 17/12/2014 by 9:20 or there about the immigration.
That they have instructed the Korean immigration to either release me or settle me or they should be ready to face the Nigerian government.
KOREAN IMMIGRATION STRIKES AGAIN, MY JOURNEY TO DEPORTATION
Officials struck again one of them called me out again as I went out to the general hall I saw about Twenty Korean immigration officers standing, immediately I came out they grabbed me and push me to the ground and handcuffed my feet then they took me outside, I believe it was where there camera cannot capture them, there they used their hands to press my mouth open and they started stuffing my mouth with something like foam that has a rubber coating, they stuffed in about six of it into my mouth and tied it to the back of my head and they used another three masks joined together to cover my mouth so that even if I make sound with my mouth it can not come out, after that they used something like a blue towel to cover my eyes tiring it to my head and they used some foam to stuff my ears leather. They used one big bag to cover my whole head and tied it to my neck so that all the things they tied on my eyes and my mouth will not be visible, I started loosing my breathe, but I tried to let them know that I was loosing my breathe I could not because there was no way I could do that. Then they took me into a van and drove off after about 40 – 50 minutes the vehicle stopped and I was TIED into a wheel chair and went off ,then after about few minutes I noticed that I have been wheeled into an aircraft, I noticed this when I faintly heard the announcement while all these things were happening I was only crying but there was nothing I could do. This is the condition under which I was until about two hours to land in Nigeria. Even when we got to the transit country they carried me under the same condition through a back door into the aircraft. I think they purposely did that to give other passengers of the airline the impression that I am either an Ebola virus victim or a very dangerous criminal. Please I will be very glad if you can use your office to investigate these claims by calling for the CCTV cameras of Ethihad airline EY 873 Ethihad Airways which departed from Korean on 17th December at 00:05 to Abu Dhabi and flight number EY 671Ethihad Airways which departed Abu Dhabi Int’l airport to Lagos on 17th December, 2014 by 10:05am. On arrival to Murtala Mohammed Int’l airport the three Korean immigration officers that escorted me to Nigeria where arrested by our immigration officers and they found all the equipments they used in packing me like a dead man inside their bag. But later I was told that the Korean ambassador to Nigeria sent some officials of their embassy to come and release them. But our immigration men properly documented the case and wrote down all the equipment they saw in the bag, and told me that they will forward the file to appropriate quarters. Right their at the Murtala Mohammed Airport the three Korean immigration officers called me and one of them spoke with me and said we are sorry we are only doing our job and he asked me when are you coming to the Republic of South Korea again and he said please contact your embassy in Korea, we have settled them, we have given them all your entitlements because that is the most proper thing to do, so that it can be well documented. my Pastor, Pastor Ekene who was in touch with Mr. Tony through out the battle called Mr. Tony Ebipador the consular general of Nigerian embassy in South Korea and Mr. Tony promised him that the embassy is going to fight and get all the entitlements. But UPTIL now Mr. Tony has refused to pick my calls, my Pastor’s calls and the calls of many concerned Nigerian’s living in South Korea, you confirm this through one Mr. Chijioke Okponwa +821041346976 the question that has been on lips all the while is what exactly did I do, because neither the Korean immigration nor the Nigerian embassy has ever been bold enough to tell me, this is your offence.
When I finally got Mr. Tony Ebipador the counselor of our Nigerian embassy he asked me to go and get the Nigerian immigration report about my case at Murtala Mohammed airport which I did, but when I got to the airport the immigration politely explained to me that they cannot give the report to me that they have forwarded it to the appropriate places please I will be glad If you can use your good office to.
- Demand the Korean immigration to tell Nigerian government via your office what is my offence, to warrant the humiliation done to me.
- Ask the immigration office in South Korea what role they played in my case because I was really informed that the consular was the one who issued visa for my deportation and visa’s to the three Korean immigration offices that escorted me to Nigeria.
- Fight for me against the injustice done to me by the Korean immigration and the Nigerian embassy in South Korea.
Pleas Note: Why I said it is injustice is because it is the Korean immigration law that if any foreigner commits a crime the first thing they do is to confisticate his alien card, Bank card and drivers license. If he has any, but in my case they didn’t collect any of the items mentioned above, as a prove that they know I didn’t commit any crime. The photocopies of these cards are attached here. Secondly if I had committed any crime they would have handed me over to the Nigerian Government for prosecution but they didn’t do that.
- To make a thorough of all that I have stated in this petition and help me get at your office is my last hope.
- Help me get all my entitlements from the Korean immigration and if it has been paid to the Nigerian embassy as they claim then to help me get it from the embassy.
- To set up a committee to investigate the activities of the Nigerian embassy.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND ATTENTION.
Republic of South Korea,
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
STATE SECURITY SERVICE,SSS.
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