Two Nigerians Detained In Bosnia Return, Decry Hostile Treatment At Migrants Camp

Photo: NIDCOM

 

The duo of Abia Uchenna and Eboh Chinedu students of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) who were arrested in November and detained in Bosnia-Herzegovina Border Camp has returned back to Nigeria.

The students who were away in Croatia for the International University Table Tennis Tournament were arrested while on a walkout in the capital for their inability to present supporting documents and were transferred to Bosnia-Herzegovina Border Camp where migrants are processed.

A statement by Nigerians in Diaspora Commission confirmed their return, stating that the students arrived on Saturday night.

READ ALSO: Two FUTO Students Detained In Bosnia To Return Home Soon, Says Dabiri-Erewa

It added that the students were received by the Secretary, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission Engr. Dr. Sule Yakubu Bassi on behalf of the Chairman/CEO NIDCOM, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

Explaining their ordeals, which include: language barrier, harsh and hostile treatment and camp conditions as well as feeding, the students said they are happy to be home, owing to the level of freedom enjoy.

“We are very happy to be home in Nigeria; there is no country better than Nigeria especially the freedom we enjoy here.

We want to thank especially Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, she is indeed a mother, the way she spoke to us on the telephone from Nigeria when were in camp in Bosnia was very encouraging, we can’t thank her enough, She put us in a hotel and fed us very well here in Abuja.”

The two Nigerians were also appreciative of the quick intervention of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nigerian Ambassador to Hungary and all Embassy Staff in Budapest.

Meanwhile, Dr. Bassi urged the two Nigerians (students) to always be of good behaviour wherever and whenever they find themselves by obeying the laws of their country of stay.

Two FUTO Students Detained In Bosnia To Return Home Soon, Says Dabiri-Erewa

 

Two Nigerians students of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) held in an illegal migrants centre in Bosnia and Herzegovina are expected back into the country soon.

This is according to the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa who disclosed this in a statement.

She explained that their return is a sequel to a series of diplomatic interventions from the Nigerian Mission in Hungary and Mr. Geoffrey Onyema, Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, who directed for full investigations to be carried out.

Five students from the university, without the knowledge of the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation, attended an international table tennis competition in Croatia.

“According to a report, Abia Alexandro Uchenna, Eboh Kenneth Chinedu, and three other students arrived in Zagreb, capital of Croatia, on November 12, for the fifth world inter-university championships held in the country.

“They were allegedly arrested while taking a walk around the country’s capital on November 18 as they couldn’t produce relevant documents to the police.

“The police officers were reported to have transferred the students to
the country’s Bosnia-Herzegovina border, where Croatian authorities had gathered a group of illegal migrants attempting to cross into the
country.”

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While two of them returned over two weeks ago, three of them stayed back, one had already applied for asylum.

“Arrangements have been concluded to send the two Nigerians back to Croatia anytime from yesterday, Friday, December 13, 2019, adding that the Nigerian Mission in Hungary has taken steps to ensure that the matter is resolved and the welfare of the two Nigerians protected.

“Five of them went for the table tennis event without the knowledge of the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation, two returned over two weeks ago, three of them stayed back while one already applied for asylum.

“Although the Croatia Authorities through our Ambassador in Budapest denied the allegation involving maltreatment by the Croatian Police, the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama has demanded a full investigation into the matter.”

She said the conditions attached to their release include the usage of their return tickets from Zagreb, Croatia back to Nigeria and must not seek Asylum in Croatia, just as one of them did already.

Dabiri-Erewa appealed to Nigerians to always inform relevant authorities whenever they go on such trips outside the country and be of good behaviour.

FUTO Students Call For Investigation Into Deaths Of Three Colleagues

 

Students from the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Imo state, have called on the Nigeria Police Force to intensify efforts and do a proper investigation into the mysterious death of three students in a hostel on April 3rd, 2019.

The students allegedly died from an overdose of ban substances which was recovered in the room where the tragedy happened.

According to the students, a full-scale investigation would unravel what killed the three and left one other student unconscious and hospitalized.

The tragedy was discovered when students forcefully gained entrance into the room after trying to gain access for several hours.

Although the school management are yet to confirm if truly the victims are students of Federal University of Technology Owerri.

The Public Relations Officer of FUTO, Uche Bright-Nwelue, told Channels TV that where the hostel is situated is in a host community and students from the higher institutions in the state, live there.

She confirmed that the university authority is making efforts to confirm if the deceased are students of the school.

“The school heard the story, but we are not giving a confirmation yet because the university is still investigating if they are FUTO Students. The management has gone ahead to get their names, match it to the registration number.

“Where they live is outside the university environment and not the university hostel, it is a lodge around the university environment, in a host community and there are other students from the other higher institutions around and that is why we are being careful.”

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According to the Public relations officer Imo Police Command, Orlando Ikeokwu, families of victims involved in the incident have been contacted and relevant investigations are ongoing.

He advised parents to keep watch on the activities of their children in schools and assured the public that the truth will be revealed in no distant time.

“We are making efforts in collaboration with the family members to ensure how were going to find out the actual cause of death and we have also contacted the school authorities within that area. There are two schools, Federal Polytechnic Nekede, and FUTO. In the hostel, we have students from both schools reside in that hostel.

“Both schools are checking their records to know if any of the four are their students. We are following up on investigations. We are taking it up from there and by the time investigation reveals otherwise, you will see that we are going to make arrest and then prosecution will follow.”

ASUU Owerri Zone Demands Immediate Payment Of Emoluments

ASUU, JAMB Act, amendment Executive members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Owerri Zone, comprising five universities in Anambra, Imo, and Abia states, have raised their voices against the persistent shortfalls in payment of their emoluments by the Federal and State Governments.

In a press briefing in Awka, the Anambra State capital, the representative of the Zonal Coordinator and Chairperson of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Mr Uzochukwu Onyebinama, noted that the ASUU has been battling this issue since 2015.

While highlighting the various amounts owed the universities in the region, Mr Onyebinama stated that the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, had been experiencing steady shortfalls in payment and as at January 2017 it had amounted to over 88 million Naira and hit 170 million Naira in February.

That of the Federal University of Technology (FUTO) Owerri, as at February 2017 was put at 157 million Naira, while the situation at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture had increased to 136 million Naira.

Mr Onyebinama then stated that they were not demanding new salaries, rather, they were demanding what was legitimately theirs.

He maintained that the issue was capable of truncating the smooth running of programmes in universities across the country.

He therefore demanded an immediate payment of all emoluments, saying “We unequivocally demand the immediate release of payment of our entire outstanding salaries and remittance of all authorized deductions in order to avert the impending industrial disharmony in our universities”.

FUTO Staff Protest Non-Promotion, Victimization

FUTOWorkers in the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) have embarked on a protest against the leadership of the university.

Under the auspices of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), the workers are protesting the non-promotion of their members for over two years.

Addressing newsmen during the protest at the university premises in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the chapter chairman of SSANU, Loveth Ekwemalor, accused the management of introducing unfriendly appraisal guidelines to stagnate staff promotion as against what is contained in the current university scheme of service.

They also accused the management of non-implementation of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) ratio of 30:70 non-teaching and teaching staff conference ratio.

Responding to the allegations, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration) of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) Mr Francis Eze, described the protest as uncalled for and unwarranted.

He said that the university council had already set up a committee to address the issue of promotion and it was expected that the union would wait for the outcome of the committee’s decision before embarking on any protest.

Mr Eze said that it was not true that staff have not been promoted in the school over the last two years, adding that the action by the three unions was ill-motivated and unwarranted.

Unions Protest Non-promotion Of Staff In FUTO

Unions Protest Non-promotion Of Staff In FUTOStaff of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) have staged a protest against the leadership of the university.

The workers, under the auspices of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) protested the non-promotion of their members for over two years.

Addressing reporters during at university premises in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the chapter Chairman of SSANU, Comrade Loveth Ekwemalor, accused the management of introducing unfriendly appraisal guidelines to stagnate staff promotions as against what was contained in the current university scheme of service.

Amongst other allegations levelled against the management, he also accused the management of non-implementation of TETfund ratio of 30-70 non-teaching and teaching staff conference ratio.

Reacting to these allegations, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration of FUTO, Mr Francis Eze, described the protest as uncalled for and unwarranted.

He said on issues of promotion, the school council already set up a committee to holistically address the issue, saying it behoved on the union to wait for the outcome of the committee’s decision before embarking on any protest.

Mr Eze disapproved claims that the workers have not been promoted in the school over the last two years, reiterating that the actions by the three unions were absolutely ill-motivated and unwarranted.

ASUU Strike: FUTO Resumes, Fixes Examination For December 16

The Management of the Federal University of Technology Owerri has resumed and hence fixed the semester’s examination for December 16.

This is in compliance with the directive of the Federal Government for all federal universities to resume academic activities.

The Vice Chancellor (VC) of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof. Chigozie Asiabaka, disclosed this in his office while speaking to Channels Television in Owerri the Imo State capital.

He said that the resumption is in line with the directive of the Nigerian government that all university lecturers should resume work on or before December 9. He added that close to 80% of the lecturers have signed in the school register and students are in their revision week ahead of their exams starting in the coming week.

However, there is little students’ presence noticed in the school premises, as some students, who spoke to Channels TV, said that most of their colleagues, who have resumed, were in their hostels and classes revising and reading, ahead of the exam that is slated for December 16.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, FUTO Chapter, Dr. Ikenna Nwachukwu, has faulted the VC’s claims of reopening the school.

In a phone conversation with Channels Television’s Imo state correspondent, the VC said that his members were still on strike and that it was only the National Executive Council of ASUU that had the powers to call off strike.

Auto Crash Kills Student Unionists Travelling To Troubled University of Uyo

A ghastly motor accident involving a trailer and bus conveying executives of the National Association Of Nigerian Students (NANS) has left five persons dead, six injured.

The tragedy occurred Thursday morning along Ariam-Ikwuano local government area, shortly after the NANS executives made a brief stop at Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture situated just a few kilometres before Ariam.

It was gathered that the occupants of the ill-fated bus crash were 12 executives of NANS travelling to University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state on a fact finding mission into the crisis rocking the institution which has led to death of some students and burning of some of the institution’s buildings.

The driver of the bus, NANS Senate President, Donald Onukaogu, and a student of Federal University Technology Owerri (FUTO), died on the spot with four others, while other five are critically injured.

The 11th person sustained a minor injury and the 12th person was lucky to escape unhurt.

On getting the news, the Governor of Abia state, Theodore Orji, visited the hospital where he met members of NANS.

He expressed his condolence to the student’s body and the family, while assuring them of every necessary assistance.

He cautioned drivers to limit their speed while driving on the highway.

The coordinator, Zone B of NANS, Chinonso Obasi, thanked the Governor for coming the hospital to sympathise with them.