A stowaway convicted last week by an Apapa Magistrates’ Court, Daniel Isaac, has narrated how he tried to leave Nigeria for Europe illegally by boarding a cargo ship at berth in the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa.
Isaac is serving 72 hours of community service at General Hospital, Ajeromi for his offence. Speaking exclusively to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY after his conviction, Isaac vowed never to make such again.
He said, “My name is Daniel Isaac. I entered the MV Mermaid Vessel from Apapa seaport. The vessel was going to Holland but unfortunately the crew onboard the vessel saw me and called the Nigeria Immigration Service.
“I was then arrested by an Immigration officer on 31st of December 2018 and brought down from the vessel.
I was detained till the 2nd of January 2019 and handed over to the Police where I was asked to give a report in writing.
“From the police custody, I was arraigned in court. I am so lucky that the Court gave me community service as punishment for my offence.” Isaac said he boarded the vessel as a casual cleaner around the port and gained access through the propeller of the ship.
Describing the ordeal as a difficult one, Isaac said he had to swim to the vessel while it was still at berth to gain access to the propeller. Isaac said after the vessel had sailed some distance away from the port, he discovered “twoLiberian boys” also hiding in the propeller.
The Liberian boys, according to him, were also arrested and deported to their country.
He said he knew the vessel’s destination was Holland by running a Google search on the vessel’s name.
According to him, “Some people have narrated how to go about this illegal means to Europe without mentioning the ugly experience in their stories. It is a very bitter experience for me because the propeller is very hot, dangerous and difficult that I have vowed never to try it again.
“My intention of going to Europe was because of the way things are going in this country.
People that are educated have no jobs; even those with jobs are being fired. I am jobless for about three years now despite my O’level certificate and vocational training as an electrician. I believe that with what I have, I can get a good job in other countries.
“I am married with a child. I told them to go spend the New Year with my sister. I did not tell them my whereabouts,” Isaac added.