Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The family of a Nigerian medical student from Abia State, who is reported to have drowned in Russia, said it suspects foul play and has therefore called for proper investigation into the circumstance that led to their son’s death.
The student, Knowledge Uzochi Ndubueze, 18, from Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, is said to have left Nigeria in 2018 to study Medicine at the Yugoslavia State Medical University.
According to the father of the deceased, Professor Ndubueze Amaechi, a lecturer at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Umuahia, the family received a call at the 3:30 pm on July 9 that Knowledge was dead in Russia.
‘It was his guardian who stays at St Petersburg, another city different from Yugoslavia State, where the boy was studying that called and told me that my son is dead.’
On inquiry, Prof Amaechi said he was told his son went for a picnic with others at a lake where he got drowned and died instantly.
According to Amaechi, ‘the news of my son’s death is rather unfortunate because we did not hear that he was sick, he had no previous sickness so we suspect foul play in the whole incident and an attempt to use drowning to cover-up,’ the father said in tears.
He pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Senators Enyinnaya Abaribe, Orji Uzor Kalu, Theodore Ahamefula and the chairman of Nigeria In Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabire-Erewa to intervene and order for an appropriate investigation.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor of Gregory University, Uturu, Prof Gregory Ibe has lent voice to the family of the late student’s call for proper investigation of his death.
In a press release, Prof Ibe, while commiserating with the family of the deceased student, decried what he characterised as the discrimination faced by Nigerian students studying abroad, contrasting it with the treatment accorded expatriate students studying in Nigeria.
According to him, ‘as a parent and educationist, I am particularly pained by the untimely death of this promising Abian and will like to use this medium to condole with the family who has been thrown into unexpected mourning by this tragedy.’
He called on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, to launch an investigation into the incident as a way of exposing the hazards and perils confronting Nigerian students abroad.