The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it will cost N35m to fly back to Nigeria the corpse of the Nigerian medical student, Chibuikem Emmanuel, who was murdered in the Philippines.
Emmanuel was reportedly murdered in the Philippines allegedly by some Chinese nationals on October 23, 2023, according to a post made to the social networking platform, X, by one Michael Ojuola, who described Emmanuel as his friend.
Ojuola had posted on X that the victim was “brutally murdered” by a group of Chinese.
“They tied his hands up, covered and tied his mouth and beat him blue-black until he gave up the ghost,” he wrote.
On Tuesday, the Director Consular, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Enya Francis, said the ministry was in close contact with the Embassy in the Philippines and was on top of the situation.
According to a statement by the spokesperson for Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Francis spoke during an investigative hearing on the matter by the Senate.
“Ikem’s corpse is yet to be buried as it will cost between N31m and N35m to repatriate and bury the corpse in Nigeria as against N10m to N15m to cremate it in the Philippines,” Francis was quoted to have said.
He noted that the cost of keeping the corpse at the funeral home was accruing N30,000 on a daily basis, hence the need to expedite action on the investigation and take appropriate action.
Emmanuel’s elder sister, Blessing Essien, stated that he was the only son of the family and in line with Igbo tradition, it would be an honour to bring the body back to Nigeria for burial.
She, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government through the Senate committees to assist the family in repatriating the body back to Nigeria for a befitting burial.