How Nigerian undergraduate was killed in Ghana over money
Ajayi Oluwapelumi in Ghana
February 20 was
no doubt one of the saddest days for the family of Mr Fred Awogbo. Their
son, 18-year-old Godwin Awogbo, a 300 level student of University of Cape Coast in Central region, Ghana, studying Social Science was brutally killed. His body had been found with some his internal organs gorged out, with his hands and legs tied.
Godwin Awogbo's lifeless body was reportedly found on the school campus.
For days, everyone seemed to be clueless about what could have prompted
such a brutal death. While the thoughts of Godwin being a cultist came
to the minds of many, his friends, however, were quick to assert that
Godwin was a cool-headed person with no such connection.
It would be recalled that Godwin Awogbo's death made it the fourth Nigerian
student to lose their life in the space of four months in Ghana. This
has not only posed the question of how safe Nigerian students are in the
Gold Coast, but it has
also raised the question of how much university managements take an
interest in the well-being of their foreign students, most of whom are
first death case was reported in October 2013 of a 15-year-old Nigerian,
by the name of Master Austine Chukwuebuka Ogukwe, an SS3 student of
Ideal College, Community 5, in Tema, who was reported dead under the
watch of his house master amidst mysterious circumstance.
second incident happened in November 2013, barely 26 days after the
first death occurred. Two Nigerian students, Eddy and Charles of
KNUSford University in Accra went for an excursion to the Volta region,
under the guidance of school representative(s), but died when their
Meeting with the father of the victim, Mr Fred Awogbo and some of his relatives at the Nigerian High Commission, emotions flowed freely.
Awogbo's eyes were swollen, obviously due to prolonged crying. He
expressed many regrets as regards why he had not listened to his late
son's proprietor who had suggested that he should send his son to Canada
to further his studies or better still, allow his son to weather the
storm of strike actions often associated with Nigerian universities than
losing him in Ghana to the cold hands of death, where he thought he was
safe and he would not lose him to strange culture.
how he got to know of his son's death: "It was my wife that actually
called. She received a call from the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana
that our attention was needed. When I called the embassy, I was first
told an incident happened in his school and my son was missing. I asked
if there was a riot, they said 'No' and promised to get back to me.
that prompted my curiosity to find out through my contact in Ghana on
what actually happened. I called the driver that I had handed over my
boy to and I asked him if there was any problem in the school. He said
he was not aware of any but promised to find out after sharing what I
heard from the Nigerian High Commission's staff. A few minutes after, he
called back to confirm that there was a problem, but he refused to say
what exactly happened. Rather, he asked me to come over to Ghana.
was still ruminating over what could have happened to my son when a
doctor friend of mine from the northern part of Nigeria called and
informed me that his wife told him of the news of my son's death. That
was how I got to know about it. So on Monday, I left for Accra. We
arrived at the Nigerian High Commission and with some of the staff of
the High Commission, we went to meet the Vice Chancellor. The meeting
was also witnessed by the Police and all Nigerian community leaders in
the meeting, the management asked some of his friends and roommate to
say what they knew about his death. Meanwhile, while I was in Nigeria, I
spoke with his roommate, a Ghanaian, who told me that my son had
withdrawn some thousands of dollars meant for his school fees, but had
lent the money to some students. When he requested them to pay back,
they started threatening his life. It was after the threats that he
heard about his death.
after everyone of them had spoken, not even the roommate mentioned the
issue of those my son lent some money and how they threatened him. So, I
told the school authority and the police right there to ask him to tell
them how my son was threatened. It was when he started talking that we
realised he (the room mate) was the one who borrowed about $4,500 from
my son, thereby denying my son the opportunity of paying his school fees
on time. When my late son started worrying him, he set him up. So,
after the police took my statement, they promised to arrest him."
on what kind of child his son was, he said, "My son was brought up in
the church. When he was still in secondary school, he was being
addressed as 'Dr Pastor' because he was active in church". Appreciating
the efforts of the Nigerian High Commission, Mr Awogbo said "The Nigeria
High Commission in Ghana really surprised us with the amount of effort
they have put into this case. They have promised to make sure the killer
is brought to book."
Awogbo stressed his regret of sending his son to study in Ghana
"Honestly, I regret sending my child to study in Ghana, because if he
had gained admission into higher institution in Nigeria, this would not
have happened. The reason I sent him to Ghana was to avoid the issue of
strike action in Nigerian higher institutions. Even his mother and
proprietor wanted him to go to Canada to further his studies. They
really persuaded me but I said 'No', because I didn't want to lose my
have been traveling to Europe for more than 20 years and I know what
happens in such developed countries. At a tender age, I thought if I
sent him there, I might lose him; he might not even want to come back
"So I decided that after he's through with his degree, he would go and do his Masters in Canada, but here we are."
parents who are yearning to send their children to Ghana to study, he
said. "As for now, I cannot advise any Nigerian parent to send their
children to study in Ghana; a lot of them studying here are teenagers
and the stress is too much for them. Coming here myself has made me know
that, in addition is the fact that the money we are paying is too much,
compared to what private universities are charging in Nigeria."