A Nigerian man who sought asylum in Iceland over claims that Boko Haram insurgents are after his life has been deported.
Okafor who was taken by the Iceland authorities Sweden, was handed his deportation papers by the Swedish immigration authorities, which gave him until June 1 to leave Sweden or be deported back to Nigeria.
Okafor who left Nigeria in 2010, had told the authorities that he was a target of the insurgent group after they tried to recruit him and he refused to join them and he and his brother were attacked in retaliation.
But Okafor who worked as a cook in the country, according to the report, was not in the mood to go without a fight as he tried every means to fight his deportation, just as his friends vowed to fight for him to be returned to the country.
This is how Okafor narrated his ordeal to Al Jazeera:
"Iceland is my home now. I have contributed to the society here. Many people know me. My friends have become my family. The Boko Haram members tried to recruit me, but I refused.
They stormed our house in Maiduguri, Borno State, in North Eastern Nigeria, stabbed me in the head and face and killed my brother, Okwy."
The report adds that Okafor fled Nigeria and made a long and dangerous boat journey to Europe, where in 2011, he sought asylum in Sweden. He told his story and showed his wounds, including the gash over his eye, which he feared would cost him his eyesight.
He was denied asylum and made his way to Iceland. He applied for asylum in Iceland in 2012 but was denied.
After many rejections, appeals and back and forth between various immigration authorities, a special immigration committee reviewing Okafor's case said the time limit to send Eze back to Sweden might have expired, and advised him to go to the immigration office and have his application for asylum processed.
He went to the immigration office as instructed to pick up the paperwork, and was told to wait 45 minutes, which he did. Unknown to him, the police officer was calling the immigration office.
"The police said I should come to sign and all of a sudden, they took me into custody. They arrested me. I spent the night in jail. The next morning, they said they were deporting me.
I said I should go and get my stuff from my house. They said no. They took me to the airport and manhandled me. In Iceland, I have been integrated into society, with so many friends. A lot of people know me. So when the police was beating me, when I was arrested, there was a lot of reaction."
Okafor was put handcuffed and put in a plane for deportation. Two members of the rights group, No Borders Iceland, boarded the plane and stood up in protest, asking other passengers to stand up as well to protest Okafor's deportation. After about 10 minutes, they were arrested by Iceland's police.
Eze Okafor says Boko Haram insurgents are after his life
Photo Credit: Al Jazeera
Okafor said he was taken to Stockholm. At the airport, he thought the Icelandic authorities would give him back the only ID he had - his Nigerian driver's license. They took it back to Iceland. He was handed papers by the Swedish immigration authorities, which gave him until June 1 to leave Sweden or be deported back to Nigeria.
He was also given a piece of paper saying he had no right to financial assistance. Without money or any identification, he was turned out onto the street where he spent the first night.
But Okafor insists coming back to Nigeria would further expose him to the Boko Haram threat and he risks being killed.
"What I am facing in Nigeria is that this Islamic group is after my life. My life is in danger. Boko Haram has a network. They have been looking for me since then."