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Trump Effect: Nigerians With Valid US Visas Handcuffed By US Immigration Officials, Deported

nigerians valid visa handcuffed deported from us

March 9, 2017 – Trump Effect: Nigerians With Multiple US Visas Handcuffed By US Immigration Officials, Deported For No Offence

2 Nigerians with valid visas, who were denied entry into the United States have alleged that they were humiliated and dehumanised by the US immigration and border protection officials at the Los Angeles International Airport and the Abu Dhabi Airport in the United Arab Emirates.

The victims, Femi Olaniyi and Popoola Olayemi, the latter having travelled to the US with his pregnant wife and two children, said their two-year multiple entry visas were revoked without any explanation before they were sent back to Nigeria by the US authorities.

Olaniyi, a real estate businessman, said he obtained his visa from the US Consulate in Lagos on December 23, 2016, adding that he had planned for a holiday in the US with his wife.

He explained that his spouse, a police officer, could not make the trip due to her official schedule.

According to him, he had planned to spend some days in California and visit a family in Indianapolis, stating that he had a hotel reservation, about $300 cash and $3,000 on his visa gold.

He said he left Lagos on a Turkish Airline on February 21, 2017 and on getting to the Los Angeles Airport, an immigration officer demanded his reason for visiting America which he explained.

He added that the officer also took his phone and travel documents, noting that he later captured his biometric data.

Olaniyi stated, “He demanded my phone which I gave to him. He went inside an office with the telephone and documents and later checked my luggage. He asked about my family which I told him.

He later said he wanted my biometrics. He then asked me to sign some documents, but as I attempted to read them, he got angry and he handcuffed me and locked me in a cold cell, but after some minutes, I banged on the door and told him that the cell was too cold for me, so he moved me to another cell.

“I was in that cell for four days before he released me and sent me back to Nigeria. I arrived on February 21 and was locked in the cell and released on February 25, when I was placed on a plane back to Nigeria. Up till now, I don’t know the offence I committed that warranted my being treated like a criminal.”

The businessman stated that he had visited other countries and had never suffered such humiliation, adding that he was humiliated by the US immigration officer.

“I have travelled to other countries and have never experienced this kind of treatment. I told them to charge me to court but they said no, that I was not entitled to court hearing.

“They revoked my visa and banned me from visiting the US for five years. This was written on my passport, for an offence I know nothing about. My visa was to expire next year,” Olaniyi stated.

The father of three called on the Federal Government to raise the issue with the US government, stressing that the nation could not afford to gloss over the incident.

‘What Abike (Dabiri-Erewa) said is true, I am a living witness. This incident cost me close to a million naira and we are not even talking of the damage done to my reputation through the revocation of my visa and the five-year ban on me,” he said.

Olaniyi added, “If I take my passport to any embassy, they would think l committed a terrible offence. They detained and treated me like a criminal. The Federal Government should address this issue. It is very unfortunate.”

Olayemi, who was visiting Florida with his pregnant wife and two children, also had a sorry tale to narrate as he was sent back by US officials at the Abu Dhabi airport where he was to board a connecting flight to New York.

The banker stated that the immigration officials initially said the $8,000 he had on him was not sufficient for him and his family.

After convincing them that he had friends who could raise money for him if the need arose, Olayemi explained that the officials asked him to go back home and return to the US after his wife might have had her baby.

He said, “The officer appeared to dial a number on his telephone, though I am not sure he talked to anyone, he said we didn’t make a hotel reservation but I showed him the hotel confirmation code. I showed them the printout, but he said he had called the hotel and they said there was no reservation.

“He then insisted that I should re-book my hotel accommodation but there was no telephone service at the airport. I couldn’t make phone calls. My children were crying. Nobody attended to us. We were kept there for over two hours. He harassed me and then gave my wife a form to fill.

“Later, they showed me a form, containing passengers they cleared, saying some declared $15,000 and others $20,000. He said this was a lesson for me and that next time I’m visiting the US, I should fly directly to New York and not stop over.

“He later gave me a questionnaire to fill, but the form has only one answer to every question, so you can’t tick ‘no’ to any question even if the answer is no. So, I was forced to tick ‘yes’ to all the questions: that I did not go with enough money; that I did not make hotel reservation, and so on.”

Olayemi further said, “My passport was seized and that of my wife. After some hours, they handed us over to Etihad Airline crew and we were asked to sit down somewhere. Nobody attended to us for about an hour or two. The children were shivering and they had to sleep on a blanket on the floor.

“I later met their overall boss, who gave us tickets for lunch and dinner, they didn’t even tell us they were taking us back to Nigeria. It was when I got to Lagos that I saw that my visa had been cancelled.

“The immigration officer was telling my wife to go home and have her baby and that she should come to the US after having her baby.”

Asked how he was able to confirm that the officers were Americans, the banker identified one of them as a US citizen of Nigerian parentage.

“They are US border protection agents. One of them is a black American with an Igbo name, Ogbonnaya,” he stated, adding that another Nigerian was also denied entry to the US “on account of his luggage.”

Reacting to the statement by the Federal Government that no Nigerian was denied entry to the US, Olayemi said angrily, “I’m sorry to say, but the man (foreign affairs minister) didn’t know what he was saying. He ought to investigate first before addressing a press conference. They just wanted to sweep the issue under the carpet, but this is not fair or right.”

He said the failed trip cost him over N1.3m in air ticket alone.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyema, had, on Tuesday, refuted the advice of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, that Nigerians, wishing to visit the US should suspend their trips until the Donald Trump administration clarified its restriction on visits to the US.

Dabiri-Erewa had said the US border officials had denied several Nigerians entry into the US and deported the victims even when the visitors had valid visas.

Onyema, who did not explain his effort to investigate the deportation of the Nigerians, called on Nigerians to travel to the US as they wished, saying no Nigerian had been denied entry to the country.

[Punch Metro]



  1. fifelomo

    March 9, 2017 at 7:49 AM

    This is not pleasant at all.

  2. Bimpe

    March 9, 2017 at 8:16 AM

    Sorry to say this, when Prof Wole Soyinka was saying it, you people were condemning him, here you are now being deported without reason(s.
    He saw the handwritten on the wall but we refused to listen.
    Don’t complain, take it with faith and stay in your country. if they did not build their country very well, you wont be travelling there to give birth to your children to be a citizen, Naija my countrymen, let us embrass our country. Shikena i take a stroll…………..

  3. Endurance

    March 9, 2017 at 8:54 AM

    This is the most craziest administration I’ve ever heard of in US! Donald Trump’s administration is marred by racism,sheered hatred for the black race and the bullying of other countries. During his electoral campaign last year, he literally criticized and lashed out against Nigerians travelling to US to grab their jobs. Saying Nigerians should be re-colonized for another 100 years for their inability to govern their country despite their wealth. He once said if he’s elected president of US,he would send nigerians living in US back home. the ongoing unjustified deportation of our people back to nigeria while possessing valid american visa testified to that threat he once made during his campaign tour.

    Hence, the only advise I can give Nigerians is,stay in your home country and invest with those millions worth of money you are spending on ticket,visa, hotel lodging in US and so on in businesses that can fetch you more money or divert your attention to other accommodating countries like Canada and other European countries and leave this inexperience business man-turned politician alone with his country!

  4. Danti

    March 9, 2017 at 12:11 PM

    Maybe this is what will wake every Nigerian up to fact that, we must develop our country! I really don’t want us to focus on America, they have the right to allow and disallow entries. Nigeria is ours, let us demand utter development from our childish leaders so that we don’t need to travel to America. Libyans,Kuwaitis, Angolana and other oil producers are not crazy about America, but we Nigerians are just too strange and naive.

    • Jilo

      March 10, 2017 at 2:16 PM

      Absolutely right! Danti. I went to college with this guy from Kwait more than a decade ago. I was going through a hell to pay my tuition and this guy have excesses. Apart from paying all his tuition, Kwait’s government was giving him about $15,000 for books transpiration and other miscellaneous. He told me that his Country earmarked some money for any Kwaitis citizen who wish or studying abroad. This guy was the only guy I knew in my school. I don’t know about others but he made it known to me that, it is very rare to see most of young Arab nation traveling abroad not to talk of studying there.

      The message I’m trying to convey to my fellow Nigerians is that we are facing this humiliation because of our endemic corruption and inability to govern ourselves. When these people see us as if we don’t know what we are doing, they will begin to maltreat us. This Kwaiti guy I was talking about did all his VISA application by himself. He was issued a student VISA without being questioned because they knew if he could not pay his tuition, his Country will pay plus they don’t have a lot of them eager or crazy to achieve western education.

      As I have said in my previous post, we have to rebrand ourselves and our way of living before we can be respected. Imagine coming to Nigeria for the first time and experience poor power outages, no good road and other social services, what do you think would be your impression if you are a white man? President Trump banned some Moslem countries from entering US but the Saudi was not included where most of 19 hijackers came from. That really tells me that hey! you people can hurt me in as much I can benefit from you economically. I’m not saying US should go and attack Saudi Arabia now but just thinking aloud!

  5. baby

    March 9, 2017 at 1:53 PM

    Yoruba with their tribal problem, how do you know that the black man is Igbo,yoruba cant live with hausa,cant live with Igbo,cant live with calabar,delta,Edo and other tribe,who can you live with,the tribalis in Yoruba people are too much,na Igbo get America?

  6. iron bar

    March 9, 2017 at 4:37 PM

    GO and lodge a complaint at the us embassy who issued the visa and also to emirate mission that cut off your trip.its absolute humiliation an embarrassment .

  7. nnamdi

    March 9, 2017 at 5:30 PM

    I will say it again; there must be a reason why those men were sent back to Nigeria. People are being turned back at POE no matter where they come from. I do not doubt the fact that those men were sent back because its normal for US immigration and border protection officials to send back any one found not eligible to enter the U.S. on visiting visa in particular. They must have asked them questions of which their answers were not clare. One thing is getting the visa from US embassy in Nigeria; another is being smart at Port Of Entry. Whenever you are going on a tourist visa you must not declar you have friends or family member living there when you are not traveling because of them. Make sure you delete any US number on your mobile phone. I guess that was why they refused those men entry. Be more careful with your answers at POE.

  8. Brave Hunter

    March 9, 2017 at 5:39 PM

    DECLARATION without investigation. So called minister of foreign affairs. What an unbearable experiences?
    Sorry brothers.

    I take a stroll…

  9. M

    March 9, 2017 at 6:32 PM

    Hahahhaahh i want to see the faces of those that are jubilating when trump becomes the US president,if you want biafra come nad claim him(TRUMP) he is your brother lol,as you can see he doesn’t care about any country except his????????????

  10. Jilo

    March 9, 2017 at 7:41 PM

    Folks, it is very unfortunate and disheartening that we Nigerians have to put up with all these humiliation, ill treatment and disrespectful just to get in into white man’s Country. Let me say this and I mean no harm. We are the cause of this embarrassment because we have already injured our dignity and self respect because of our failure to govern ourselves. These people have seen it all. They have seen how corrupt and desperate we are to get out of our poverty stricken Country just to escape poverty at all cost. They have witnessed how we are lining up and sleep at the gate of their embassies to obtain a Visa. They see us as economic burden to their economy.

    The rule of thumb is, if you don’t have anything to offer as a friend, it is going to be difficult to establish a good friendship with your friend. Right now we don’t have anything to offer even our oil which consists of our major source of wealth is not sufficient for us to sustain us as a result of decline in global oil market. These people can get their oil from other countries as well if we try to show off. This is the right time to re-evaluate our situation and to determine where we want to place ourselves among international communities.

    The story of these two individuals is heartbreaking. I have never heard where people were so humiliated despite the fact they were holding genuine US VISA. If you don’t want people into your Country, you don’t have to humiliate them and treat them like criminals. Recently,Trump executive order on immigration excluded Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other Muslim countries. Remember, 16 out of 19 hijackers in 9/11 were Saudi Citizens yet president Trump exclude them from ban Muslim Countries to enter United States. The reason I guess is because US is benefiting more from Saudi economy and no Saudi citizen is desperate to visit US. I don’t want to stress on this but from my own idea we have to restructure ourselves economically, politically and socially in order to be respected and dignified among white nations.

  11. Ace

    March 9, 2017 at 7:43 PM

    My brothers and sisters in Nigeria, stay off USA for now. Trump has much on his hands to deal with now than listening to all these issues. Stop wasting visa, tickets money for nothing. Those immigration officers at POE are over doing things, but nobody is ready to listen to you. Mr Olayemi, it’s unfortunate you wasted money, of course the officers knew your wife was coming to deliver a baby, $8,000 will not even pay delivery bills, come to talk of taking care of the rest of you while you are here. They know many foreigners come to deliver, incur bills, and go back to their countries without paying. We should blame our elected politicians for punishing us, and not letting us have the goodies in our country. Abike Dabiri saw it all,she knows more than she’s talking. Please wait until coast is clear to travel to US. It is very sad

  12. ade eagle

    March 9, 2017 at 11:59 PM

    maybe we need to start to treat the Americans in Nigeria the same way and deport them back to America

  13. Red

    March 11, 2017 at 11:04 PM

    you see the problem with some illiterate Nigerians is this..when misfortune befall another Nigerian they laugh it off ..someone got deported from u.s how is that funny sure those who laugh are poor idiots and stupid to the core..they have no funds to even make a trip to Ghana ..idiots’s high time we live our selves and stop jubilation over ones misfortunes ..

    • Uzoma

      March 12, 2017 at 12:20 AM

      You said the truth, Red.

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