PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -A Nigerian mortician, accused of overstaying his time in Trinidad and Tobago, will not be deported from this country but instead allowed voluntary departure.
Anthony Agu, a 34-year-old certified embalmer with JE Guide Funeral Home in the southern city of San Fernando, has been given two weeks in which to leave Trinidad and Tobago and may reapply through the company for permission to return to resume work.
The decision was handed down on Tuesday at an immigration tribunal in Port-of- Spain yesterday.
Testifying at the tribunal was Beverly Guide-Williams, managing director of the funeral home who said Agu was an employee for over three years.
“Anthony has proven himself to be hard working, honest and has a great work ethic,” she noted, adding that there was a shortage of persons in the field.
She recommended that immigration policies be amended so that employers can recruit specialist foreign workers where there is a shortage in certain fields.
“To be a professional embalmer you have to be training. You don’t have people leaving school wanting to do embalming. You have to have that love,” she said. She also noted that Agu’s experience in facial reconstruction was extremely helpful to relatives who lost loved ones, particularly in car accidents.
“He has the skill to make someone look like they did 10 years before their illness and to do that is very difficult.
” It gives closure in the sense that relatives are allowed to see their loved ones for one last time in the way that you know and remember them before their illness,” she said.
Agu arrived in Trinidad in 2012, after securing a work permit and received five extensions from the Immigration Department.
His last extension on his permit expired in October 2016.