Last week, many news platforms reported that Florence Owonogho, a 65-year-old woman, returned to Nigeria after 25 years in the United Kingdom to meet her house sold by a tenant.
The reports also claimed that Owonogho was deported to Nigeria, but FIJ found that neither of the claims is true.
THE CLAIM: Florence Owonogho was deported from the UK after 25 years. Upon her arrival in Nigeria, she met her house sold by a tenant. She is now homeless.
VERIFICATION: Triggered by the story circulated online, FIJ visited Florence at Fifth Avenue, 51 Road in Festac Town where she sleeps on the walkway near her family house.
‘I WAS NOT DEPORTED‘
“I travelled to the United Kingdom in 1990 after working with the port authority as a personnel officer in 1983,” Florence told FIJ.
During her stay in the UK, she battled stroke, and after surviving it, she thought of returning home. “I should not die in the diaspora,” said Florence. “I decided to come back to Nigeria in 2015 to look after my ailing mother.”
Sadly, her mother died three months after Florence arrived in Nigeria, and her ordeal began in 2017, she claimed. “I was not deported. I came in with my passport,” she told FIJ.
A FAMILY TUSSLE
House 23, M Close, Fifth Avenue, Festac, according to Florence, is a family property built by her mother.
She told FIJ no tenant sold the house. The struggle, she said, had been between her and her siblings. Her mother’s will was truncated by some of her siblings, said Florence who could not account for a copy of the will. “They were stolen from my wardrobe,” she said.
“We are five from our mother: Omolomo Olaiya, myself, Ayodele Ogunladu, Funke Odeyemi and Banke Adeniji.”
Olaiya is based in the diaspora and was not too concerned about the property, she said. She recalled that Ogunladu came to the house harassing her. She reported to the police. Surprisingly, police officers from Festac Police Station picked her up a few days later.
“I don’t know why I was arrested. They only told me that I should follow them for an interrogation,” she said. “But from there, I was taken to Kirikiri where I spent five months in detention.”
Florence was confident her sibling, Ogunladu, framed her up. “It was in the court that I was accused of battering my sister, Ayodele,” she said. “But I never did.”
Asked about her husband, she said she had not set her eyes on him since she returned in 2015.
Florence’s appearance showed that she needs medical help. She told FIJ she was suffering from diabetes and had been sleeping in open places since 2017.
Florence was not deported from the UK as reported by some platforms. Also, her house was not sold by her tenant. She suffers more of a family crisis.
The claims that Florence’s house was sold by a tenant and she was deported from the UK are false.
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