The Trials of a Nigerian Entrepreneur Trying to Make it Abroad

Greek police form the Omonia Police Department round up suspected illegal immigrants in Athens, Greece on August 31, 2012. Greek authorities launched a crackdown called Xenios Dias aimed at detaining and deporting high numbers of illegal immigrants. Photo by Adam Ferguson
Greek police from the Omonia Police Department round up suspected illegal immigrants in Athens, Greece on August 31, 2012. Greek authorities launched a crackdown called Xenios Dias aimed at detaining and deporting high numbers of illegal immigrants. Photo by Adam Ferguson

Eberechukwu Leonard Nwagwu is from Imo State, Nigeria. He left Nigeria in search of the golden fleece in Greece in 1993 but has since been faced with a fleet of troubles that has made it almost impossible to survive in the Mediterranean country.

Prior to moving to Greece, he struggled in his early 20s in Nigeria and decided to travel to Hellas where he established a thriving Internet business. But years later, everything crumbled.

According to Nwagwu the demise of his livelihood was orchestrated a by high wired conspiracy to kill his thriving business and, perhaps, send him back to Nigeria.

Nwagwu spoke to a Daily Sun newspaper correspondent about what he is going through in Greece and how his estranged Greek wife conspired with his landlord and some Greek officials to put him out of business by locking up his shop. He was turned into a near beggar in a land where he was an employer of labor, leveraging on a court order he said was obtained with forged documents.

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According to the Imo State-born business person, trouble started for him in the country where he had made an appreciable impact in the Internet business in 2010 when his landlord, Georgios, took him to court over a rent-related issue.

Part of the rent agreement was that “after the first two years, rent will be readjusted free”, Nwagwu said. However, Nwagwu said that after one year, without his knowledge, his landlord erased that aspect of the agreement to read “rent will be readjusted after one year by five per cent per annum to be paid in advance on the first day of every month.”

Georgios dragged Nwagwu to court, claiming that his tenant refused to pay rent.

While the matter was in court, according to Nwagwu, racism crept in, as every Greek official involved in the case, including his own lawyer, worked towards seeing that the Nigerian was nailed even when they were aware that the documents with which his landlord took him to court for were forged.

Nwagwu said this conspiracy against him by the Greek officials started playing out from the court bailiff, who never served him his summons but went to court to swear to an oath that he did.

The magistrate decided  in favor of the landlord on November 2, 2011.

Nwagwu noted: “In this case, Greek officials collaborated with their lawyers to make my life difficult and, perhaps, force me out of their country by using forged documents in court against me and despite all the evidence I have at hand, I did not find justice simply because I’m a black man from Nigeria”.

“They told me that if I was not satisfied with the ruling that I could return to my country” he added.

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Before this, Nwagwu was in 2005 and 2012 respectively arrested by the Greek police on suspicion that he was an illegal immigrant and he was seriously battered. .

On the date of the 2012 arrest police officers beat him up and took him to the station even after his Greek wife came to identify him.

When asked if he had brought this to the notice of Nigerian Embassy officials in Greece, Nwagwu responded: “First of all, I would say that I don’t understand why Nigeria is spending money on foreign missions when they are not doing anything to help the situation of their citizens. Despite the complaints I made at the Embassy during all this period, the officials have not cared to follow the matters up and find solutions to them”.

“I am now broke as a result of the locking of my shop over the years. Not only me, but many Nigerians are suffering from injustice and nobody cares…most of the cases are decided in our absence.”

“I want the Nigerian government to borrow a leaf from other governments around the globe and save us in Greece. I am asking them to come to my rescue because I don’t want to engage in things that will tarnish the image of my country.”
(Source: with information from the Daily Sun)