Nigeria opens negotiation with Bosnian govt over detained students
London, Dec. 13, 2019 (AltAfrica)-The government of Nigeria has reached out to the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in a bid to secure the release of two students of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Abia Alexandra and Eboh Chinedu, being detained in an immigration centre since November 16, 2019.
The two table tennis players had travelled to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, on November 12 to participate in the World University Championships in Pula.
They were, however, deported to Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Croatian police which claimed that they were in the country illegally, despite having arrived in Croatia with valid visas.
It is understood that the Nigerian Ambassador to Hungary, Ambassador Eniola Ajayi, has been engaging with the Bosnian authorities over the incident.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, confirmed that the Federal Government had taken up the issue with the Bosnian government, adding that Ajayi, who had concurrent accreditation to Bosnia and Hercegovina, was in touch with the authorities.
“Yes, Ambassador Eniola Ajayi has been engaging with the Bosnian government; you may call her,” he said in an SMS to Punch correspondent.
But Ajayi could not be reached on Thursday as several calls to her Hungarian number rang out.
Alexandra and Chinedu, in an interview with The Guardian, said they were victims of injustice and that the only reason they were forcibly taken to Bosnia was that they are blacks.
“We told the truth and we have evidence of it,” said Chinedu via telephone from an immigration centre in east Sarajevo where the pair were being detained.
According to him, they were supposed to fly to Lagos from Zagreb on November 18, after the tournament, before they were picked up by the police the night before, who allegedly mistook them for undocumented immigrants.