Abike Dabiri vows to ensure return of Nigerian students detained in Bosnia

Abike Dabiri Abike Dabiri-Erewa

Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has assured that two Nigerians in Bosnian refugee camps are expected to return to Croatia soonest in preparation for their return to Nigeria.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said this in a statement on Friday by NIDCOM’s spokesman, Abdulrahman Balogun.


Two students of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Abia Uchenna and Eboh Chinedu, who attended an international table tennis competition in Croatia, ended up in the Bosnian refugee camp.

The Nigerian Mission in Hungary and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, have both intervened in the matter.

Dabiri-Erewa said that arrangements to send the two Nigerians back to Croatia had been concluded, adding that the Nigerian Mission in Hungary “has taken steps to ensure that the matter is resolved and the welfare of the two Nigerians protected.”

She said that five Nigerian students were in Croatia to participate in the table tennis event without the knowledge of the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation, two returned over a fortnight ago, and three of them stayed back while one had already applied for asylum.

Although Croatian authorities had through the Nigerian ambassador in Budapest denied allegations of maltreatment by the Croatian Police, Mr Onyeama has demanded full investigation into the matter.

Dabiri-Erewa said that the conditions attached to their release included the usage of their return tickets from Zagreb back to Nigeria and must not seek asylum in Croatia.

She appealed to Nigerians to always inform relevant authorities whenever they go on such trips outside the country and to be of good behaviour.

According to a report, Messrs Uchenna and Chinedu, and three other students arrived Zagreb, capital of Croatia, on November 12 for the fifth world inter-university championships held in the country.


They were allegedly arrested while taking a walk around the country’s capital on November 18 as they could not produce relevant documents to the police.

The police officers were reported to have transferred the students to the country’s Bosnia-Herzegovina border, where Croatian authorities had gathered a group of illegal migrants attempting to cross into the country.