History Of Deportations From Lagos & Other Nigerian States

history of deportations in lagos nigeri

August 12, 2013 – History Of Deportations From Lagos & Other States In Nigeria

For the records, here is the history of deportations that took place mainly in Lagos and other states in Nigeria dated back to 1889.

british colonial regime in nigeria

History of Deportation From Lagos & Different Nigerian States.

  1. 1889 – British colonial regime deported King Jaja of Opobo to a remote village in the West Indies
  2. 1941 Comrade Michael Imoudu was deported to Auchi in Benin. He returned in 1945.
  3. 1992 & 93 Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN, Dr Beko Ransome -Kuti & Femi Falana were deported from Lagos to Kuje Prison.
  4. 1994 Chief MKO Abiola Was deported from Lagos to Kano, Borno & Abuja
  5. 1995 Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti was deported from Lagos and jailed for life in Katsina prison
  6. 1995 Chris Anyanwu, Kunle Ajibade, Charles Mbah and Charles Obi (4 Nigerian journalists) were deported from Lagos to secret prisons in the northern states
  7. 1996 Chief Fawehinmi SAN was deported from Lagos to Bauchi Prison
  8. 1996 Femi Aborishade & Femi Falana were both deported from Lagos to Jigawa prison
  9. 1996 Comrade Frank Kokori was deported from Lagos to Bama prisons in Borno State
  10. 1996 General Obasanjo was deported from Lagos to Yola Prison.
  11. 2009 – 129 beggars deported from Lagos to Molete, Ibadan, Oyo state
  12. 2013 – Several beggars deported from Lagos to Osogbo
  13. 2013 – 14 Beggars deported from Lagos to Onitsha (the most recent)
  14. 2011 – 29 beggars deported from Anambra state to Akwa Ibom & Ebonyi state
  15. 2013 – Several beggars deported from Abuja
  16. 2013 – 113 homeless people deported from Port Harcourt, Rivers State to their home states.

Deportation of poor people and criminals started in Lagos in the 1880s.

Though it happened in other Nigerian states, it’s mostly common in Lagos.

King Jaja Of Opobo History

King Jaja was from Igbo extraction. He was believed to have been born in Amaigbo in the present day Imo state of Nigeria. He was later enslaved during the slave trade era and ended up in Bonny in the Niger Delta area. Although he was a slave, he became a member of the Anna Pepple House. Anna Pepple House was a political cum economic structure where some group of individuals within Bonny established a common understanding towards advancing their common business goals and interest. He was able to work up the ladder in the Anna Pepple House because of his well known and dynamic trading capability.

king jaja of opobo historyKing jaja in his Juju wear.

He later became the head of the House. Under Jaja, the Anna Pepple House became very wealthy. This growing prosperity became a thing of envy from the rivals. To avoid and conflict because of the envy, Jaja pulled out in of the Bonny area in 1869 taking with him more than half of the components of the Anna Pepple House. He found a new coastal settlement named Opobo not too far from Bonny.

The establishment of Opobo settlement and its location gave Jaja the upper hand in the control of palm oil business between the hinter lands of what is known today as Nigeria and the Europeans that came in the Coastal area. Jaja controlled firmed palm oil market of Igbo, Ibibio, Efik etc with is position as a middle man. Within a very short period, Jaja became the most powerful and the richest ruler in the Niger Delta area.

In the early stage, the relationship between Jaja and the British was very cordial. For instance by 1873, the British agreement with Jaja recognized him as a ruler of the area. By 1873-74 Jaja lent his soldiers to the British for expedition against the Asante in the present Ghana region. For this act, Queen of Victorian of England gave Jaja a sword as a gift.

Jaja knew that his influence, power and wealth rested on his continued practice as a middle man between the Europeans and the hinter land. For this reason, he prevented the Europeans from having direct access to the products they needed from the hinterland. This his intention did not go down well with the Europeans especially the British. In 1886 problem erupted between Jaja and the British. This had to do with the British traders attempt to gain access to the hinterland markets. Jaja’s response to this was to banish all trade with the Europeans firms and started shipping palm oil directly to England.

This act annoyed the British. In 1887, Johnson who was the British Acting Consul for West Africa directed Jaja to allow the Europeans trader access to the hinterland. This directive was not adhered to by Jaja. By September of 1887, Johnson brought a warship named HMS Goshawk to Opobo and invited Jaja on board. He gave Jaja the assurance that nothing will happen to him. When he went onboard, he was given two bad choices by Johnson. One was that if he would not allow the Europeans access, he could go back and face immediate bombardment from the British navy. The second was that he should give himself up to be taken into exile. It was very difficult for Jaja but in other to save Opobo and his people, he chooses the exile option. He was first sent to Accra where he was tried and later sent to the West Indies in 1889.

King Jaja of opobo died in 1891 on his way back to Nigeria.