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Justice For The Nigerian Student Killed By Canadian Police Is Demanded By Tinubu’s Aide.



Justice For The Nigerian Student Killed By Canadian Police Is Demanded By Tinubu's Aide.

Stephen Opaso was a Nigerian student studying at the University of Manitoba in Canada. His death has left Mr. Sunday Asefon, President Bola Tinubu’s Senior Special Assistant on Student Engagement, devastated.

In a statement released on Saturday in Abuja, Asefon called the murder senseless, brutal, and savage.

He vowed to engage the High Commission of Canada in Nigeria, and further collaborate with Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairperson of NiDCOM to ensure that the unfortunate killing was not swept under the carpet.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the late Stephen Afolabi Opaso, a 19-year-old Nigerian international student in Canada, fondly called Zigi by peers, was shot dead by the Winnipeg Police Service in Manitoba on Dec. 31, 2023.

The deceased was alleged to be wielding a knife at the time of the encounter and had a mental health crisis at the time of the incident.

The Winnipeg police in their statement, acknowledged the confrontation with an armed male but provided limited details.
“On Dec. 31, 2023, at approximately 2:22 p.m., the Winnipeg police service responded to an apartment suite in the first 100 block of University Crescent for a 911 call regarding a male acting erratically.

“The caller advised that the male may be armed and there were other people in the suite.

“During this encounter, an officer discharged their firearm, striking the male. Officers provided immediate medical care and ensured the well-being of all other parties on the scene. Nobody else was injured.

“The male was transported to hospital in critical condition and succumbed to his injuries,” the statement read.
Asefon said that the impression in the public as gathered during an interaction with the official of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) earlier on the case, was that the killing was racially motivated.

He said this was because the demised student was not welding a gun at the time of the incident and that the police officers would have acted differently if he were to be a white.

He, thus, appealed to NANS and the entire Nigerian students to remain calm, vowed to follow the case up diligently untill the Canadian authorities gave true account of the death of the Nigerian student.

He stated that his office would also make sure the family of the deceased was paid appropriately in order to prevent a diplomatic scuffle that could result in the Nigerian student Apex body NANS closing their embassy, as was previously threatened.

He went on to urge Canadian Nigerian students to maintain their composure, saying that his office would see to it that justice was done.

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