Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The federal government has demanded that justice must be served accordingly on the sudden death of a 25-year-old Nigerian student in Cyprus, Mr. Ibrahim Khaleel Bello, and other Nigerians killed in such mysterious circumstances.
The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, made the plea on Monday in Abuja following a petition by a Kaduna State High Court judge, Justice Amina Bello, on the mysterious and inexplicable death of her son, a third year Civil Engineering student of Girne American University in Girne (Kyrenia), Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement issued Monday by Mr. Gabriel Odu of the Media and Public Relations Unit of the commission, insisted that the country should be blacklisted given the preponderance of Nigerian students who had died mysteriously in the country without any prosecution or compensation whatsoever.
She therefore called on parents to be wary of sending their wards to Northern Cyprus as the country was not recognized by the United Nations except the Republic of Turkey, adding that Nigeria has no diplomatic ties with the country.
The chairman stated: “The death of Ibrahim khaleel Bello should be a tipping point to end the continuous killings of Nigerian students in that country.
“The time has come for us to blacklist all these universities in Northern Cyprus and advise our students from seeking any form of admission there as it portends danger to their life and future.”
Dabiri-Erewa however assured the delegation led by Justice Bello that NIDCOM would work with the Ministry of Justice, Nigerian Mission in Turkey and other relevant agencies to ensure justice is done.
She added that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation had already reported the matter to Interpol for further investigation.
Earlier, Bello said her insistence on justice was not only for her son, but also other Nigerian students who had died mysteriously in the Girne American University Girne (Kyrenia), and other universities in Northern Cyprus.
She said her son was allegedly murdered and covered up by the authorities in Northern Cyprus as well as the university authorities, claiming it was a suicide mission having fallen from a seven-storey building.
Bello said: “I don’t believe it was an accident or a suicide as I went to Cyprus barely 24 hours it happened and got to the mortuary where there was no scratch or wound on his body.
“I suspected foul play that my son was killed as the school was non-challant in breaking the news to me on my arrival there.”
Bello said she spoke with her son hours before he died and he was expressing fears on his safety in the university environment, adding that her son sent her a WhatsApp message before his eventual death.
“Mama, please I want to come back home. Wallahi if I stay here, I will just die here without anybody batting an eyelash. I just need to come back home. Mama please try to understand that this isn’t a place for me,” Ibrahim said.
The late Ibrahim Bello was among about 100 Nigerians killed and murdered in mysterious circumstances from 2016 to 2020 without prosecuting any of the assailants.
Other victims included Kennedy Taomwabwa Dede, 28, student of Eastern Mediterranean University, who was killed on February 1, 2018; and Walshak Augustine Ngok, a student of Marine Engineering at Near East University, murdered on April 19, 2019.
Others were Gabriel Soriwei, a first year student of Electrical Electronics of Cyprus International University, Nicosia; Osabanjo Adeola Owoyale, 33, went missing and found dead on July 1, 2019;
Augustine Wallies killed on April 19, 2019; Stanley Eteimo, 28; Hassan Babatunde, 28; Temitayo Adigun; Kubiat Abasi Abraham Okon, 24; Oziegbe Gospower Airekugose and Olasubomi Ope, among others not reported.