An online petition has been started by students at the University of Cyprus to stop the government from deporting a fellow student from Nigeria.
Fatai Oluwaseun Lawal, a student accepted to a Master’s programme at UCy in September 2019 who also completed his Bachelor’s degree there, is being held at Menoyia Deportation Centre after police caught him with 0.3g of cannabis on a night out with friends.
Lawal was immediately taken to court, where he was charged with illegally residing in Cyprus and possession of drugs. He was taken to the deportation centre after his trial.
According to what Lawal told the website social media group Racism Watch, he had already filled out his residence forms prior to being picked up by police and he was awaiting their approval in November 2019.
He filled out residence forms in the past, as he was student in Cyprus prior to being accepted to the Master’s programme.
“I couldn’t believe the 0.3g of cannabis would be something the authorities would spend thousands of euros of the taxpayers’ money on, to take me to court,” he said.
On the cannabis, Lawal also said he had been given it by friends to deal with pains from a muscle-disease.
He apologised for being late in filling out his residence form and has sent a letter to the interior ministry and the migration department.
Lawal claimed he thought he had a three-month time frame to file the forms after his graduation in June 2019, but due to personal problems and the death of his mother he delayed filing the forms.
The petition to be sent to the interior ministry to stop his deportation can be found here: https://secure.avaaz.org/community_petitions/en/cyprus_ministry_of_interior_stop_the_deportation_of_fatai_from_cyprus_now/?fpla