On Tuesday 8th May 2018, over 50 Nigerian deportees who just arrived from Libya came to The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) in a dishevelled and desperate state. Recounting their sordid stories, they explained how they had seen the height of human brutality in the course of their illegal journey, many being “sold into slavery” upon their arrival in Libya and facing inhumane treatment and torture at the hands of their captors. They had squandered their life-savings on the suicidal journey, returning to their homeland with nothing but the clothes on their backs and scars on their bodies to show for their years abroad in search of “greener pastures”.

After hearing of their plight, Prophet T.B. Joshua and the Emmanuel TV Partners gave the group the sum of N1.8m ($5,000) to help start their lives afresh in Nigeria.

“Your rewards in life are determined by the problems you solve for someone else.” – T.B. Joshua


No one should have to see what Onyema Igwe saw. A scene forever emblazoned in his conscience. The height of human cruelty unfolding before his naked eyes. An unwilling accomplice to a heinous crime…

Almost 30 of them had embarked on the treacherous trail. The journey began in Kano State, Nigeria where the group were roughly transported at night to Agadez, Niger – regrettably renowned as the smuggling capital of Africa. Onyema, a spare-parts dealer from Imo State, spent his life-savings to fund a journey “to a better life” abroad. That fantasy was soon to be dealt a heavy blow.

Bundled “like sardines” into the back of a pick-up truck, Onyema held tightly onto a wooden pole fixed to the truck – the only item that stood between him and falling to certain death in the infamous Sahara Desert. “If you fall, no one will come back for you,” the smuggler bluntly explained. Corpses littered the ground as the vehicle sped into the horizon, a somber sign of untold dangers lying ahead.

The driver suddenly ground to a halt at the outline of a stationary vehicle. Squinting through the sandy haze, the sight that met Onyema was brutally heartbreaking. 30 bodies strewn in the back of the vehicle. Men. Women. Children. Gone. “The vehicle had a fault,” the driver muttered. “Once you run out of water, you can’t survive more than three days out here.” A foul stench pervaded the atmosphere. The odour of death and decay.

Hastening their speed, the journey continued. Until tragedy struck in the most wretched of manners. Onyema knew one of the female travelers was pregnant – it was obvious to see – but no one knew the combination of heat and exhaustion would trigger premature labour. In the midst of the Sahara Desert, hurtling at breakneck speeds across dunes in an overcrowded vehicle, her screams pierced the night. She delivered a baby that day… but lost her own life. The stress and trauma were too much for her frail body to bear.

Their ‘guide’ was furious. “How could they allow such a lady on this trip,” he fumed as another ‘passenger’ cradled the newly born in her arms. The gift of life mired by the snare of death. The trafficker rudely ordered the men out of the vehicle. “Dig a grave in the sand,” he bellowed. Onyema joined the others. Rudely kicking the corpse of the deceased into the crudely created hole, no one could be prepared for the instruction that followed. “Throw the baby in as well!” Shock-tingled silence. No muscle moved. No eyelid bat. “I said, throw it!”

“The cries of that baby still wake me up at night,” Onyema soberly recounted. “I was among those forced to use sand to cover the baby and her mother in that shallow grave.” He finally reached Libya but never made it across the Mediterranean Ocean to Italy. “I was sold into slavery in Libya,” he narrated. Forced to do work “meant for machines”. Beaten. Tortured. Starved. Is this what he sold his life-savings for?

Languishing in a Libyan prison, Onyema was finally among those discovered by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and deported back to Nigeria. His first point of call was The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), alongside over 40 Nigerians repatriated from Libyan cells. On Friday 23rd March 2018, Prophet T.B. Joshua gave the group the sum of N2.5m ($7,000) to start their lives afresh back home.

TB Joshua, A Man With A Heart Of Gold

tb joshua scoan

T.B. Joshua

Prophet T.B. Joshua deserves to be celebrated from different perspectives, especially at a time like this when the nation is passing through some kind of recession. He has put smiles on faces and has become one of the greatest friends of the poor and downtrodden within and outside Nigeria. Apart from his healing and deliverance gifts, Prophet Joshua walks tall in different aspects of human endeavours. His life story is a demonstration of God’s ability to use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.

With mere primary school education, the General Overseer of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), has established himself as a force to reckon within Nigeria and different countries across the globe. Located at Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos, SCOAN has continued to receive exciting reviews from the international media, attracting different personalities, including heads of state and governments, across the world, who come to seek spiritual succour. But it does not end there. The man of God as he is often called understands the challenges of the world and has maintained a rare reputation for helping individuals, institutions and nations overcome their spiritual, challenges through crusades and humanitarian efforts. Many people within and outside the country have continued to benefit from his ministry’s magnanimity in terms of various monetary gifts, scholarship awards, provision of social amenities, empowerment projects and giving of seed money for business start-up. Through his ministry’s Emmanuel TV Partners, also broadcast in different paid TV channels, millions of lives and destinies have been changed for good across the world.

According to the man of God, ‘true love always searches for whom to help whenever and wherever it is in a position to do so.’ How he has been able to maturely handle the bad press emanating from the collapsed building incident remains very phenomenal. He has maintained a calm and unperturbed disposition –– a quality that can only be divinely bestowed, especially in situations of crisis. Prophet Joshua is among the very few Nigerian pastors you will hardly see around the corridors of power. You will never find him in any government house because he believes a true servant of God should be for all and not frolic around with politicians.

Before the plight of Nigerian deportees from Libya became a matter of national interest, Prophet Joshua has been helping this group of people with food and money running into several millions of Naira.

According to some of the deportees who landed in the country earlier this month, Prophet T.B. Joshua remains the only Nigerian pastor who has been passionately concerned about their plights. Prophet Joshua, they say, has been the only prominent Nigerian who has over the years shown unrivalled concern about their plights.

Even right from the Libyan prisons were most of them spent years, they had always looked forward to meeting the notable man of God, whom they described as the greatest thing to happen in Nigerian Christendom.

From records, Prophet T.B. Joshua has received over one million Nigerian deportees from Libya between 2014 and 2017 and has doled out both money and foodstuff in the region of N200,000,000 (two hundred million Naira).

Reminding the church of its role in an era when poverty and lack have taken over the world, the man of God, during a recent Sunday Service monitored on Emmanuel TV, reiterated the urgent need for true children of God to reach out to the needy in a manner that pleases God, lest their giving amounts to a waste of time. “All you have been giving, if you are not giving in a manner that pleases God, you are wasting your time,” he declared. He also enlightened the world on how giving can bring about contentment – “Don’t forget. Your possessions alone cannot bring you contentment, but giving to the poor can.”



As the influx of Nigerians being deported from Libya continues, The SCOAN continues to help in the best way they can – with love in action and words of comfort. Having stared death and brutality in the face – they can now appreciate life.

In bids to ‘make it in life’ the mostly young Nigerians, aged from 15 upwards, travelled illegally in hope of a better future abroad. Many complained of being deceived that the journey would take two weeks and the more you paid to make the trip the smoother it would be. Today, ask them and they will tell you there is nothing smooth about an illegal road trip that entails hunger, hijackings, beatings, kidnappings, brutality and all kinds of abuse.

The church receives an endless flow of such deportees and on a weekly basis, they are given millions of naira. This week alone N4,450,000 was given to the deportees – without question of their religion, belief or background – alongside food and further assistance.

“The beauty of life is not how happy you are but how happy others can be because of you.” – T.B. Joshua


tbj1 Nigerian Prophet, T.B. Joshua, has splashed N6m ($30,000) on over a hundred Nigerian deportees who arrived from Libya on the evening of Thursday 16th June, 2016.

According to media reports, 162 Nigerians were deported from the North African nation with the aid of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Swiss government and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.

However, rather than return home, 107 decided to ‘seek refuge’ at The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), the popular Lagos-based church of T.B. Joshua.

We came back with nothing but the clothes on our backs which were given to us by United Nations officials,” said Michael, an Edo State indigene who had been in Libya for nearly ten months, washing cars for a living while nursing the hope of reaching Europe one day.

Arrested in February for staying illegally, Michael endured several months in a Libyan prison before the insufferable conditions of the prisoners attracted the attention of United Nations officials who procured their eventual release.

tbj2“I was thinking of how I was going to start my life again,” he admitted. “Many of us would have ended up in crime if not for this gift.”

Upon arrival, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) provided transportation vehicles for the returnees to their respective states along with a gesture of N10,000 by the Swiss government.

However, the majority chose to seek help from Joshua, who is famed for his extensive humanitarian gestures.

“We decided to come to The SCOAN because we know how Prophet T.B. Joshua has been helping people around the world,” Michael explained, referring to multiple other occasions where Joshua has rendered assistance to Nigerian deportees.

tbj3“I can only thank the man of God. Which other Nigerian could have done this for us at such a time in this country?” he tearfully pondered, decrying the muted response from the Nigerian government to their plight.tbj5

According to Collins, the young Nigerian had no intention to traverse Libya. Wild promises from a ‘friend’ of a glamorous life in Europe lured him away from a stable job in Abuja, not knowing that the European dream would lead him to a Libyan dungeon.

The fantasy turned to a nightmare as Libyan police broke into the commune where he was residing with dozens of other Nigerians en-route to a ‘better life’ abroad that never materialised.

“We are not here to blame or accuse the Libyan government,” he stated, recounting the inhumane conditions he endured in prison in which several of his colleagues died.tbj4

One of the deportees hobbled to the church on crutches. “I had a serious motor accident shortly after arriving to join my wife in Libya,” he narrated. “I have been in pain ever since but I thank God for using Prophet T.B. Joshua to wipe our tears away today.”

Joshua, who recently celebrated his 53rd birthday on June 12th 2016, also assisted Nigerian deportees who returned from Libya earlier this year, as well as aiding Nigerians returned from South Africa last month.

Ihechukwu Njoku is a freelance Nigerian journalist

Photo credit: TB Joshua Ministries