Nigerians protest student's detention in Ukraine
Nigerians in Ukraine are protesting against the arrest of a Nigerian student for allegedly defending himself against six teenagers who attacked him at the entrance to his apartment.
The student, Olaolu Femi, is currently languishing in jail and may be facing life imprisonment in the Eastern European country.
African Outlook learnt that Femi was arrested after defending himself against his assailants with a broken bottle in the front of his apartment on November 5, 2011 in Luhanski.
Eyewitnesses told African Outlook that one of his friends was attacked in front of his apartment by four Ukrainian young men and two women who pulled them to the ground while hurling racist slurs on them.
Femi was said to have managed to get up and defended himself against the assailants with a broken bottle.
"It was while he was defending himself that police arrived at the scene and Femi was arrested and charged with attempted murder of five people," a Nigerian Embassy worker, told African Outlook.
He added that Femi became an accused in a case, which is being celebrated in Ukraine.
Femi was remanded in custody by the Ukrainian police who refused to take the case to court, claiming that they had not been able to get an interpreter for him.
A PhD student in International Relations and the leader of the Nigerian Students' Community in Ukraine, Osarumen David-Izevbokun, alongside other Nigerian students have been organising protests as well as drawing the attention of the human right groups in Ukraine to the plight of Femi, who has spent almost seven months in jail without trial.
According to a source, the female lawyer handling the case, Ludmila Havrysh, was reported to have told the protesters that her client had not been able to read the file material since it is all written in Ukrainian or Russian.
"We heard she wanted to be paid $10,000 when she had not even been able to secure bail for her client who has been in detention for more than six months," the source told African Outlook.