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FG demands justice for Nigerian student killed in Northern Cyprus

FG demands justice for Nigerian student killed in Northern Cyprus

The Federal Government has demanded justice over the sudden death of a 25-year-old Nigerian student in Northern Cyprus, Ibrahim Khaleel Bello, and others killed in such mysterious circumstances in the country.

Chairman and CEO of the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, made this demand following a petition in Abuja on Monday by Justice Amina Ahmad Bello, a Judge in Kaduna State High Court, over the death of Khaleel, her son, a third year Civil Engineering Degree student of Girne American University in Girne (Kyrenia), Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) via Mersin 10, Turkey.

Dabiri-Erewa also cautioned parents against sending their children to Northern Cyprus because the country is not recognised by the United Nations except the Republic of Turkey, adding that Nigeria has no diplomatic relations with the country.

She insisted that the country should be blacklisted given the high number of Nigerian students who have died mysteriously in that country without any prosecution of the culprits or compensation whatsoever.

She assured the delegation led by Justice Bello that NIDCOM will work with the Ministry of Justice, Nigerian Mission in Turkey and other relevant agencies to ensure justice is done, saying “the death of Ibrahim khaleel Bello should be a tipping point to end the continuous killings of Nigerian students in that country”.

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Dabiri-Erewa denounced schools in Northern Cyprus and pointed out that most of the courses were not accredited.

“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,” she said.

She said that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation has already reported the matter to Interpol for further investigation.

Justice Bello, mother of the deceased, called for diligent investigation, adding that justice must be done to unravel those behind the death of her only son and other Nigerian students who have died mysteriously in the Girne American University Girne (Kyrenia), and other universities in Northern Cyprus.

She alleged that the government authorities in Northern Cyprus as well as the university authorities were trying to cover up the murder claiming it was a suicide mission even as she called for the prosecution of the culprits.

Justice Bello said hours before her son was killed, she spoke with him and he expressed fears over his safety in the university environment.

“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 nonchallant in breaking the news to me on my arrival there,” she said.

Justice Bello said hours before the boy died, he sent her a WhatsApp message saying, “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.”

She alleged that it was possible some of the killed Nigerian students’ vital organs were harvested as her son’s stomach was opened and sutured when the corpse was finally released.

According to report from NIDCOM, the late Ibrahim Khaleel Bello was among about 100 Nigerians killed in mysterious circumstances from 2016 to 2020 without prosecution of any of the assailants.

Other victims included Kennedy Taomwabwa Dede, 28, student of Eastern Mediterranean University who was killed on Feb. 1, 2018; Walshak Augustine Ngok, a student of Marine Engineering at Near East University, murdered on April 19, 2019; 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.