ABUJA (AA) - Some 465 Nigerian refugees stranded in Libya were repatriated to their home country on Friday, an official said.
According to the Nigeria National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) south-east zonal coordinator Martins Ejike, the returnees were trying to migrate to Europe illegally from Libya.
Ejike told reporters at Port Harcourt International Airport that his office was closely following the process.
Last month, Nigerian authorities said they had identified a total of 5,037 stranded citizens in Libya ready to be repatriated.
“I am happy that the last set of returnees at the center were all taken back to their various states,'' he added.
Last December, U.S. television network CNN reported that many African migrants in Libya had been captured by local criminal gangs and sold into slavery in lawless regions near Tripoli.
Libya denied being responsible for the alleged slavery, instead calling on countries and international bodies to enforce all the protocols on migration and human trafficking.
It also pledged to investigate the incident and punish the culprits.