To Return Nigerian Student Body, N35 Million Is Needed—FG

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The corpse of Nigerian medical student Chibuikem Emmanuel, who was killed in the Philippines, will cost N35 million to transport back to Nigeria, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On October 23, 2023, Emmanuel was allegedly murdered in the Philippines by several Chinese people, according to a post by a Michael Ojuola on the social media site X. Ojuola called Emmanuel a buddy.

Ojuola had written on X that some Chinese people had “brutally murdered” the victim.

He wrote, “They beat him blue-black, tied his hands up, covered and tied his mouth, and tied him until he gave up the ghost.”

Ambassador Enya Francis, the Director Consular of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated on Tuesday that the ministry was monitoring the situation and keeping in communication with the Embassy in the Philippines.

Francis addressed at a Senate investigation into the matter, according to a statement made by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, the spokesperson for the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission.

Francis was cited as saying, “Ikem’s corpse is yet to be buried as it will cost between N31m and N35m to repatriate and bury the corpse in Nigeria as opposed to N10m to N15m to cremate it in the Philippines.”

He pointed out that keeping the body at the funeral home was becoming more expensive by N30,000 per day, thus the investigation needed to be completed quickly and the necessary steps needed to be taken.

Since Emmanuel was the only son in the family, according to Blessing Essien, his older sister, it would be an honor to return the remains to Nigeria for burial in accordance with Igbo custom.

As a result, she made a request to the Federal Government via Senate committees to help the family return the body to Nigeria so that it may be buried in a respectable manner.

The Senate Joint Committees on Diaspora and Inter-Governmental Affairs and Foreign Affairs were notified by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman of NiDCOM, that Emmanuel’s Filipino employer and five other individuals had been charged with murder.

Dabiri-Erewa provided input to the Senator Victor Umeh-led committee regarding the efforts made thus far, stating that the Nigerian embassy has notified the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and the Inspector General of the Philippines National Police about the situation.

She said that the police team had finished gathering evidence and had brought the case to the attention of the Mandaue City Prosecuting Department, which assessed it and chose to prosecute someone with murder.

“They have opened a case and issued a warrant for the five other defendants and the boy’s employee to be arrested. They faced accusations of murder, trafficking in persons, and running an illicit enterprise in the Philippines, according to her.

In the meantime, the House of Representatives demanded on Tuesday that the Federal Government look into Emmanuel’s murder as soon as possible in order to determine the real cause of his passing.

The resolution followed the passage of a motion on urgent public significance filed by Mr. Mudashiru Lukman, the congressman for the Ayedire/Iwo/Ola-Oluwa Federal Constituency in Osun State.

The deceased, according to Lukman, went to get money owed him by his Chinese lover. Following a small argument, he was taken away by guys in a van, only to return unresponsive.

The House requested that the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, and Diaspora look into the situation after the motion was adopted.

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