The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has estimated that it will cost N35 million to repatriate the body of Chibuikem Emmanuel, a Nigerian medical student who was slain in the Philippines.
According to a post on the social networking site X by one Michael Ojuola, who identified Emmanuel as a buddy, Emmanuel was murdered in the Philippines on October 23, 2023, allegedly at the hands of several Chinese people.
Ojuola had stated on X that the deceased was “brutally murdered” by a group of Chinese.
They bound his hands behind his back, gagged him with a cloth, and beat him until he passed out, he wrote.
Director Consular Ambassador Enya Francis said Tuesday that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was in constant contact with the Embassy in the Philippines and was handling the situation effectively.
Abdur-Rahman Balogun, a spokesman for the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, said that Francis testified during a Senate session investigating the issue.
It will cost between N31m and N35m to repatriate and bury the corpse in Nigeria, compared to N10m to N15m to cremate it in the Philippines, Francis was reported as saying.
He mentioned that holding the body at the funeral home was costing N30,000 every day, so it was important to move quickly on the inquiry and take the necessary steps.
Blessing Essien, Emmanuel’s older sister, said that since he was the only son in the family, it would be a great honor to bury him in Nigeria according to Igbo custom.
She asked the Senate committees to help the family bring the body back to Nigeria for a proper burial after making an appeal to the federal government.
The Chairman of NiDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, reported that Emmanuel’s employer in the Philippines had been charged with murder along with five others to the Senate Joint Committees on Diaspora, Intergovernmental Affairs, and Foreign Affairs.
Dabiri-Erewa informed the Senator Victor Umeh-led committee that the Nigerian embassy had notified the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and the Inspector General of the Philippine National Police.
She said that the police investigation team had finished gathering evidence and had turned it over to the Mandaue City Prosecuting Department for consideration.
They have opened an investigation and issued an arrest warrant for the boy’s employee and five other suspects, the source said. She revealed that the suspects had been arrested in the Philippines on charges of “murder, human trafficking, and operating an illegal business.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the House of Representatives urged the Federal Government to launch a thorough investigation into Emmanuel’s death.
The legislator for Osun State’s Ayedire/Iwo/Ola-Oluwa Federal Constituency, Mr. Mudashiru Lukman, introduced the motion that led to the resolution’s acceptance.
According to Lukman, the deceased man was left unresponsive after being taken away by men in a vehicle following a minor quarrel with his Chinese girlfriend.
The House adopted a motion requesting investigations into the subject from its Committees on Foreign Affairs and Human Rights and its Committee on Diaspora.