"WR6_gUnUj-ztiW07KQcOCnTel9A"/> Notes From Atlanta: Update and Letter from Italy about Kate Omoregbe

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Update and Letter from Italy about Kate Omoregbe

Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
I promised to keep readers updated on the case of the lying Nigerian criminal in Italy by the name of Kate Omoregbe who pleaded with Italian authorities not to deport her to Nigeria after her four-year prison term. She said she’d been condemned to death by stoning or acid bath by a Nigerian sharia court for refusing to convert to Islam and for not agreeing to a forced marriage.

 
I predicted that in spite of the absurdity of her lies, the Italian parliament might grant her asylum request. I was right. Omoregbe was granted political asylum by the Italian parliament last week. 

 
Interestingly, shortly after Omoregbe won her plea for asylum, another Nigerian woman, identified as Tina Richard, is telling similar lies to earn asylum in Italy. Her own story is that she hails from a Christian family in “Kanu” (the idiot didn’t even learn to correctly spell the name of the state she claims to be a native of) whose parents were murdered by a powerful citizen of Kano who wanted to marry her.

Italians in positions of authority seem to be great suckers for horrendously ridiculous lies. Who murders the parents of the girl he wants to marry? What does that achieve? A simple Google search would have taught these ignorant Italians that Kano (which is NEVER spelled Kanu) is an over 90 percent Muslim society and that the likelihood of the existence of a Tina Richard in the state is almost zilch. 

Well, if they would believe the claims of a woman from the predominantly Christian Edo State, who claimed she had been condemned to death by stoning for refusing to convert to Islam, they would believe anything.  Any wonder Europeans easily fall victim to 419 scams? Now I understand why 419 scammers call them “mugu,” the Nigerian Pidgin English word for a fool, a chump.

I think Italy and these lying criminals deserve each other. I will write about Tina Richard next week, but early this week I received an email from an Italian blogger who called attention to the inconsistencies and factual inaccuracies of Omoregbe’s claim in Italy. I thought the email was insightful and worthy of being shared with a wider audience. Read it below:

“Dear Farooq,

I discovered your articles about Kate Omoregbe - the Nigerian lady asking for asylum in Italy - almost by chance.

I am - alas - the only person in Italy to have written that this was probably a hoax, and it is a pleasure for me to see that I used more or less the same arguments you did.

I agree with every point you make, and especially your shrewd analysis of the reasons Italians fell for this case.

An episode like this unmasks the Western monologue: Leftists and Rightists, Catholics and atheists, were suddenly united by their shared belief that any place outside the West must be "savage". And they all enjoyed and felt wonderfully noble about having rescued this girl at no cost to themselves.

Kate Omoregbe worked for some time, she says, taking care of elderly women. I have no intention of moralizing, but it does seem strange that she was not living with her "patient", but with three other ladies from Nigeria. I have not been able to track down documentation about her original arrest.
Kate Omoregbe--granted asylum

In prison, she wrote to Franco Corbelli, a picturesque character who launches one-man campaigns for individual cases: I think he is in good faith, but he certainly does not check his facts.

He immediately launched the case, and started moving politicians and the media. The first version of the story was that Kate Omoregbe had been "sentenced by a shariah court" to be "stoned to death" for 1) refusing to convert to Islam and 2) refusing to marry a man older than her.

On my blog, I pointed out that Kate Omoregbe was born in Benin City, in a Catholic family, went to the Catholic school. In Edo State, where the governor is... a Muslim who converted to Catholicism, and has not (yet?) been stoned.

At this point, Franco Corbelli denied what the media was saying, and said he had never spoken of a "sentence by a shariah court", but only of "customs of that country". And said that she had been  "raped and forcibly married by a 60 year old man from Sokoto", and escaped from him "in order not to be forced to convert to Islam". That was fifteen years ago...

So, even if we believe Corbelli, it just means that in far-away Sokoto, there is an angry 75 year old who wants revenge on the girl. 

The media paid no attention to what I pointed out (of course, I am just a blogger...) or even to Corbelli's own correction, and the lies simply went on.

I have known people who were granted asylum in Italy (actually it is "humanitarian protection", which is less than full asylum) after a year waiting; Ms Omoregbe got hers a few hours after leaving the prison.
Feel free to publish this, if you want.

Good luck.

Miguel Martinez (muqawama@gmail.com)
Florence, Italy

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Lies Nigerians Tell in Italy in the Name of Sharia
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