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Family of deceased Nigerian student call for justice

15 October 2013

The family of a Nigerian student, Gabriel Soriwei, who died in a road traffic accident in Nicosia, are calling for justice in unravelling how their son died.

Gabriel, 20, was a first year student of Electrical/Electronic Engineering at the Cyprus International University, Nicosia, when he was knocked down by a female driver on 13th July, 2013. He remained in a coma eventually dying on 7th September.

In a letter written by Gabriel’s father, the family said that neither the Turkish Cypriot police, the university authorities nor the Nigerian Embassy in Cyprus has shown any desire to tell the family how their son died.

Mr. Patrick said: “First, neither the Cyprus International University nor the family of the woman who drove the car that killed Gabriel has found it necessary to at least write to the family to condole with us on the death of this young man who until his death was contributing to the economy of the TRNC by paying school fees as a foreign student.

It is also unjust that the TRNC authorities are hiding the identity of the woman who killed our child. The police authorities in North Cyprus insisted that it was the practice in their country to ensure that such a person was shielded from the family of the victim”.

The police told the father of the deceased, Mr. Patrick Soriwei, during a visit to Nicosia that “the Turkish woman lost control of the vehicle which knocked down Gabriel. It was however gathered that the woman was drunk even though we have no proof of it.  The police said that the woman was detained for three days and released.”

Mr Soriwei added that the school authorities simply sent Gabriel’s body back as cargo and have failed to send his belongings back to Nigeria.

On the part of the Nigerian Embassy in Cyprus, Mr. Patrick said that the Embassy had ignored the matter but the Nigerian Mission in nearby Turkey managed to “send someone to the university to find out the cause of the death. The Mission has not rendered the necessary assistance in getting the police to write a report on his death. This delay in writing this report, we believe, is inspired by a plot to subvert the process of justice in this matter.”

Mr. Patrick disclosed that the family had written to high ranking officials and the Turkish Embassy in Nigeria and other institutions in their search for justice.

 “The life of a Nigerian child should be treated more decently than that of a stray animal. The situation doesn’t seem to be different in this case,” he concluded in his letter.

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