The Nigerian government through its Diaspora Commission has warned parents not to send their wards to schools in Northern Cyprus.
This is coming after the death of a Nigerian student, Ibrahim Khaleel Bello, who was killed in Cyprus in the course of studying abroad.
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) made the demand following the death of the 25-year old Nigerian student in Northern Cyprus, Mr Ibrahim Khaleel Bello, and others killed in mysterious circumstances in the country.
The Commission stated in a Twitter thread that “Ibrahim Khaleel Bello was among about 100 Nigerians killed and murdered in mysterious circumstances from 2016 to 2020 without prosecuting any of the assailants.”
Mrs Dabiri made a plea for justice following a petition by Hon. 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.
Dabiri-Erewa called on Nigerians especially Students and 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 insisted that the country should be blacklisted given the preponderance of Nigerian Students who have died mysteriously in that country without any prosecution 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 prevailed.
She added that “the death of Ibrahim Khaleel Bello should be a tipping point to end the continuous killings of Nigerian students in that country.”
Dabiri-Erewa stated that most of the courses Nigerians parents send their kids to Northern Cyprus Universities to study are not accredited and they end up killing the children, many of them unreported.
“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 added that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation has already reported the matter to Interpol for further investigation.
Justice Amina Ahmad Bello, mother of the deceased, said she wants justice, not just for her son but also for other Nigerian Students who have died mysteriously in the Girne American University Girne (Kyrenia), and other Universities in Northern Cyprus.
She narrated how her son was allegedly murdered and it was covered up by the authorities in Northern Cyprus as well as the University authorities who claimed it was a suicide mission, as he ”fell from a seven-storey building.”
She insisted that the report be investigated and all those found culpable be prosecuted as there was nothing to show that her son committed suicide.
Justice Bello 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.
“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.”
Justice Bello said hours before the boy died, he sent her a WhatsApp message that reads:
“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 is possible some of the vital organs of some of the slain Nigerian students were harvested as her son’s stomach was opened and sutured when the corpse was finally released.
The late Ibrahim Khaleel Bello was among about 100 Nigerians killed and murdered in mysterious circumstances from 2016 to 2020 without any of the assailants being prosecuted.
Other victims include, Kennedy Taomwabwa Dede, 28, student of Eastern Mediterranean University and was killed on Feb. 1, 2018, Walshak Augustine Ngok, a student of Marine Engineering at Near East University, murdered on April 19, 2019.
Others are 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.
According to NIDCOM, the list also includes 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.