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NiDCOM calls for blacklisting of Northern Cyprus universities over killings of Nigerian Students

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ABIKE Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), has called for the blacklisting of Northern Cyprus universities over the killings of Nigerians who had gone there for studies.

In a statement  by Gabriel Odu, NiDCOM’s spokesperson, Dabiri-Erewa made the call following a petition by Justice Amina Ahmad Bello, a Judge in Kaduna State High Court on the mysterious and, inexplicable death of 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 in Abuja on Monday.

The late 25-year old Ibrahim Khaleel Bello was reported by his school to have fallen from a seven-storey building in Cyprus.

Justice Bello believed that her son was murdered as opposed to the report from her son’s school report. She added that her son’s death is equally being covered up by the university authority.

She said hours before her son was killed, she spoke with him, and he was expressing fears on 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,” she said.

”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.”

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Justice Bello said hours before the boy died, he sent her a WhatsApp message that ” 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 is demanding justice for her late son and other Nigerian students that have been killed in the country.

Reacting to the petition, the chairman of the Diaspora Commission stated that studying in Northern Cyprus universities is becoming dangerous for Nigerian students, noting that most of the courses offered in the country’s universities were not accredited.

She added that about 100 Nigerians who had gone to Cyprus for studies have been reportedly killed in the last four years without justice.

”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.

Dabiri-Erewa further called on Nigerian parents  to be wary of sending their wards to Northern Cyprus as the country is not recognized by the United Nations except the Republic of Turkey, adding that Nigeria has no diplomatic ties with that country.

She assured the mother of the deceased that her Commission would work with the Ministry of Justice, Nigerian Mission in Turkey and other relevant agencies to ensure justice served on her son’s death.

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She said “the death of Ibrahim khaleel Bello should be a tipping point to end the continuous killings of Nigerian students in that country.”

According to her, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation has already reported the matter to Interpol for further investigation.

The late Ibrahim Khaleel Bello was among about 100 Nigerians killed and murdered in mysterious circumstances from 2016 to 2020 without prosecuting any of the assailants.

Other victims include Kennedy Taomwabwa Dede, 28, student of Eastern Mediterranean University and was killed on Februrary 1, 2018, 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.

The list include Augustine Wallies killed on April 19, 2019, Stanley Eteimo, 28 years, Hassan Babatunde, 28, murdered, Temitayo Adigun, killed, Kubiat Abasi Abraham Okon, 24, killed, Oziegbe Gospower Airekugose and Olasubomi Ope among others not reported.

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