|Late Osamuyi Aikpitanhi|
The family of the late Nigerian deportee, Osamuyi Aikpitanhi, who was killed by Spanish immigration officials while being deported 10 years ago, have notified both the Spanish and Nigerian authorities of their intention to hold a protest at the Spanish Consulate General office in Lagos to press for justice and compensation almost 10 years after he was brutally killed.
The deceased from Edo State, 23, at the time of his ordeal was bound hands and feet as well as had an industrial duct tape over his mouth at the time he was being deported on June 9, 2007 from Madrid, Spain to Lagos, died as a result of asphyxia resulting to the Iberia Airline flight to divert to Alicante, Spain.
His death caused an outrage leading to Nigerians both at home and in Diaspora to stage a protest in over 40 countries calling for an investigation into his death and justice for the family.
In a letter dated February 9, 2017, addressed to the Spanish Consul-General and copied to the President of the Senate, Sen. Bukola Saraki; the Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara; the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Godfrey Onyema and the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, the family of late Mr. Osamuyi Aikpitanhi, wrote to notify of their intention to hold “a peaceful protest at the Spanish Consulate General office in Victoria Island, Lagos State to demand justice for the murder of our son and brother, Mr. Osamuyi Akpitanhi, on June 9, 2007 inside an Iberia Airline flight during the process of being deported” the letter read.
A copy of the letter sighted by Sunday Telegraph disclosed that Late Osamuyi was killed by the Spanish Immigration authorities in an attempt to deport him from Spain and died aboard an Iberia Airline flight to Nigeria.
The letter detailed that “in a bid to deport Mr. Aikpitanhi, the decedent, from Spain to Nigeria , the Spanish law enforcement agents employed measures that were unreasonable, inhuman, illegal, and ultimately, fatal.”
The brother of the deceased, Mr. Iziegbe Aikpitanhi, who signed the letter, gave the names of the Spanish officers involved as Mr. Jose Luis Cazailla Gonzalez with force number 50975416-X and Mr. Miguel Angel Piñero Del Real.
“Both were at that time attached to the Royal Police Force at Arenida De Los Pablados in the Brigada Province of Madrid, Spain. Initial autopsy reports conducted during an enquiry into the cause of death revealed that Osamuyi died of Asphyxia,” the letter read.
According to Mr. Aikpitahi’s account, the deceased, before he was put in the Iberia aircraft, the Spanish officials administered tranquilizers, handcuffed, chained his legs, and gagged his mouth with industrial strength rubber after they had taken turns beating him.
“While putting the him inside the aircraft, the Spanish Immigration officials covered the deceased with a sack in order to prevent other passengers traveling on the aircraft from observing the undignified and inhumane manner in which the deceased was restrained,” the letter read. The treatment, Mr. Aikpitanhi narrated led to the deceased “choking in his vomit, with excrements all over his body. Official medical reports admit the decedent died of suffocation.”
“When this incident occurred in 2007, the Nigerian community worldwide is shocked and appalled that Spain, a member country of the European Union and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, would permit her law enforcement officials to conduct themselves in the macabre fashion that that are in complete contravention of all International Human Rights Instruments and their protocols,” the letter further read.
The deceased brother went on to say that “to show their disdain for the inhuman act, Nigerians at home and in Diaspora under the umbrella of Concerned Nigerians Worldwide (CNW) created by the Nigeria website, www.nigeriavillagesquare.com , staged a protest on June 29, 2007 in more than 40 countries in the world against the Spanish government which made the Nigeria government react to their demonstration after a motion was pushed on July 4, 2007 by our relative and representative at the Federal House of Representatives, Rt.Hon Samson Osagie.
“Sir in our bid to get justice for the brutal murder our our son and brother, the CNW came to our aid by filing a suit against Spanish Government and Iberia Airline in the United States of America (USA) over the death of Osamuyi. Note that in our entire quest for justice we have acted in compliance with the law.”
The deceased family said that they demanded from the Spanish authorities to bring the perpetrators of the act to book; repatriated his remains back home and pay adequate compensation to the family.
“On the 28th of November 2008, his remains were repatriated home from Alicante, Spain and was accompanied by the then Nigerian Deputy-Ambassador to Spain, Mr. Haruna Ginsua.
The then Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Angel Losada, informed us that the Spanish Government paid for the repatriation of the corpse home and also donated €10,000 (Ten thousand Euro) on compassionate grounds to the family to help with the burial rites. We were told that the donation was not compensation. Sir, we showed the Spanish Government our appreciation for delivering on one of our three demands while we waited for the first and second demands,” the letter read.
The family said they were surprised to learn from reports the trial of the two suspects in the murder of our brother held in May 2012 and a statement from five experts and forensic doctors served to clarify that the death of our brother was “ due to a series of factors that they called "vicious circle". Among them, an increase in catecholamines, neurotransmitters related to stress, fear, panic and flight instinct; an oxygen deficit due to the height at which the plane was flying, and in which could also influence the gag (tape) that the deceased had in the mouth and that had been placed by the agents.
Further to the report by ww.diarioinformacion.com, we learnt that this development “reduced the crime of recklessness to negligence for lack of recklessness for the two policemen after which the two suspects were ordered to pay a fine of £600 to ratify the sentence. ”
This development they said led to the death of the father of the deceased, Mr. Jacob Aikpitanhi in January 2015 Consequent on that the family is hereby staging a peaceful protest to demand the Spanish government to make good their promises even as we mourn both our brother and father and have therefore resolved the following;
“That we will launch a peaceful protest at the gates of the Spanish Consulate General office in Victoria Island, Lagos State on Monday, February 27, 2017 to demand that justice and compensation for our son and brother who was murdered in cold blood by your citizens Mr. Jose Luis Cazailla Gonzalez and Miguel Angel Piñero Del Real who still have blood on their hands; Set up a memorial website, Facebook Page, Twitter and Instagram to tell the world how the Spanish Government put the worth of a human bring at £600 after her agents killed him in the worst brutal of manner; Write to the Nigeria Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have another look at how the death of our son, brother and Nigeria citizen was handled by your government; Write to the National Human Rights Commission to re-open the case in Nigeria; Write to the Nigeria Senate and Federal House of Representatives Committees Foreign Affairs to re-open debates on this murder of one of her citizen; Write to our Senator and Federal House member to push a motion re-opening our case; Meet with Civil Society groups locally and international to take up our case; Start media awareness on how the Spanish Government have treated us these past years,” they said.
Attempts to get reactions from the Spanish Consulate in Lagos proved abortive as emails and phones calls directed at them were not responded to as at press time.