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Croatian police deny deporting Nigerian students to Bosnia, reject racism accusation [Video]

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Croatian police have defended their actions and denied racism after being accused of detaining two Nigerian students taking part in a sports competition and forcefully expelling them to Bosnia, although they had visas for Croatia.

“Statements that Croatian police acted and condemned individuals according to the colour of their skin are inadmissible and we strongly reject them,” the police said in response to questions about how and why the two Nigerians ended up in Bosnia.

The Sarajevo independent media outlet Zurnal reported on Tuesday that the two students, Abia Uchenna Alexandro and Eboh Kenneth Chinedu, had arrived in Croatia on November 12 to take part in a student sports competition in the coastal town of Pula.

According to them, when the competition ended, together with other colleagues, on November 17 they went to Zagreb from where they had a scheduled flight to Istanbul, and then to Lagos in Nigeria.

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The two students told Zurnal that the Croatian police detained them on a tram in Zagreb and drove them to a police station.

“We tried to explain who we were and that our documents were in the hostel. They did not pay attention to what we were saying,” Kenneth Chinedu told Zurnal.

They said they were then taken to a forest near the border with northwest Bosnia and forced at gunpoint to cross the border.

They were then taken to a camp in Velika Kladusa, in northwest Bosnia, which is where there are currently.

Your Rights, an organisation providing legal aid to the students, confirmed to BIRN that the students had the right visas for Croatia and had entered Croatia legally. It said they were now gathering information on which to decide how to proceed.

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However, Croatian police say they did not expel the two students to Bosnia. They said two of the five Nigerian students in Pula left Croatia “legally” after the sports competition ended, adding that the two Nigerians mentioned in the Bosnian media left Pula a day earlier than the rest, staying in Zagreb.

“On November 16, they checked in into a hostel in Zagreb, and on November 18, after paying their bills and taking their travel documents and other things, they checked out from the hostel and left in an unknown [direction],” the police said.

“Police did not record their legal departure from Croatia, nor did police officers working on combating illegal migration deal with persons with that name and surname,” the police added.

Dubravko Jagic, from the Police Union, told N1 television on Wednesday that it is impossible that police operating in the Zagreb area behaved in the way described.

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According to police, a fifth Nigerian team member of the same sports group tried to cross into neighbouring Slovenia, failed, then applied for asylum in Zagreb and is now in a shelter for asylum seekers in Zagreb.

Police said they suspected an attempted “misuse of participation in sports competition” to get into the European Union to which Croatia belongs.

“This is one way by which foreign nationals of third countries, after entering the Republic of Croatia legally and after participating in a licensed activity, continue their journey illegally to destination countries in Europe,” they said.

However, rights groups have repeatedly accused the Croatian police of using heavy-handed tactics with migrants and refugees, including a strategy of unlawful and often violent pushbacks over the border. Croatia has denied this.

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JUST IN: Air Peace sacks 70 pilots

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Nigeria’s leading airline, Air Peace has fired over 70 pilots across its fleets.

According to a leaked statement obtained by our correspondent, the management of the airline linked the disengagement of the pilots’ contract to the devasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It can be recalled that the Pilots on July 22nd protested a major pay cut after negotiations with the management over pilots’ remuneration broke down.

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The management of Air Peace denied the reports by issuing a statement that its pilots were not on strike as insinuated in the social media.

Notably amongst those affected are those who were signatories to the agitations.

 

 

 

 

 

Details later…

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Sanwo-Olu pays debt of 45-year-old man who attempted to commit suicide on third mainland bridge (Photo)

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The Police in Lagos state recently rescued a 45-year-old man, Adeyinka Abiodun, who attempted to jump into the lagoon on July 31.

A statement by the state police command’s spokesperson, Bala Elkana, says Adeyinka was rescued and taken to Bariga Police Station for questioning and debriefing.

According to Bala, Adeyinka who is married with two children, said sometime in March this year, he took a N390,000 loan with a monthly repayment plan for six months and accrued interest of N142,287:25 from a microfinance bank in Lagos Island.

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Bala said Adeyinka who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a Masters Degree in Business Administration, told the police that the loan was collected with the intent to upgrade his wine retail business, but the business failed and the money lost.

The Police spokesman said the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, moved with compassion, came to the rescue by repaying Adeyinka’s loan which has been confirmed at the microfinance bank.

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Bala said this would be the 8th suicide attempt successfully foiled by the Police in Lagos, in the last two months.

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It’s shameful educated Yoruba youths are dying in desert, sea in bids to enter Europe – Prof Banji Akintoye

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The President of Yoruba World Congress, Prof Banji Akintoye,

The President of Yoruba World Congress, Prof Banji Akintoye, has decried the trafficking of Yoruba youths to some European countries and other parts of the world for prostitution and modern-day slavery.

Akintoye blamed the massive migration of Nigerian youths abroad on poverty and the absence of youth development programmes.

“Nigerian young men and women are dying in droves in the desert trying to reach Europe. It is happening all the time and the government of Nigeria knows it,” he said in a TheCitizenNG report.

“Yoruba people are known for their love for education and an average parent in Yorubaland can do anything to send their children to school up to the university level.

“But it is wrong that we do not have plans for youth development and youth empowerment. We have identified that as a problem and that is why the Yoruba World Congress is doing something about youth development. A state government in the South-West has partnered us.

“The next step after education is youth development but we have failed to do that. That is why we have a big problem on our hand now. It is a shame that Yoruba youths, after obtaining university degrees, are dying in the desert and in the sea while trying to cross to Europe. It is also a shame that Yoruba youths are being used for prostitution and slaves in Europe and other countries.”

Meanwhile, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has said the state will ensure the repatriation of all its indigenes found to have been trafficked to Lebanon.

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According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, Makinde said this while being briefed by the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters, Mrs Bolanle Sarumi-Aliyu, on the plight of Oyo State indigenes trafficked to Lebanon.

The governor said,

“This state will pay for their flights and the fees requested to conduct COVID-19 tests on each of them.”

Sarumi-Aliyu said 40 female indigenes of the state had been identified in Lebanon while the state was going ahead with identification of others to know the actual number of Oyo State indigenes being used as slaves in Lebanon.

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