A top official of Federal Capital Territory Administration, Dr. (Mrs.) Kehinde Catherine Ilupeju is demanding the sum of N50 million from the Embassy of Turkey in Nigeria for issuing her a wrong visa. The civil servant made the demand in a petition to the Ambassador of Turkey in Nigeria written on her behalf by her solicitors, Forthright Chambers on January 2 2017.
In the petition titled, “Violation Of Dr. (Mrs) Catherine Kehinde Ilupeju’s Fundamental Human Right To Freedom Of Movement, Liberty And The Dignity Of Her Human Person: Demand For The Payment Of The Sum Of N50,000,000 (Fifty Million Naira) As Compensation For Her Financial Loss, Harassment, False Imprisonment, Maltreatment And Deportation By The Turkish And Cypriot Authorities On Account Of The Failure Of The Officials Of The Turkish Embassy In Nigeria To Observe The Expected Duty Of Care Owed Her,” the petitioner narrated how she was given a wrong visa which led to her detention and eventual deportation from Cypriot by security operatives when she presented it at Ercan International Airport, Nicose on December 24 2017.
While narrating the circumstances that led to the unpleasant journey, Dr. Ilupeju, recalled that she had on 15 December 2017 applied for a visa at Turkish Embassy in Nigeria to visit her son who was studying at European University, Cyprus. She said she got the visa on December 20 2017 and thus, embarked on the trip to Turkey from Abuja on a few days later.
However, she was arrested on arrival at Ercan International Airport by security operatives who alleged she did not have the necessary documents to enter that part of Cyprus.
Dr Ilupeju alleged that she was kept in detention from about 4 pm on December 24 2017, to about 9 am of the following day when she was escorted by security operatives to Istanbul where she was kept in another detention facility until about 9 pm of the Christmas Day and deported to Nigeria.
The civil servant lamented that she was treated as an illegal immigrant and subjected to the indignity of detention, harassment, untold embarrassment and eventual loss of huge financial resources despite the fact that she paid the sum of $400 in cash at the Turkish Embassy in Nigeria.
The officials of Turkish Embassy were aware that our client was traveling to the European University of Cyprus for which she was charged $400 as processing fee which she paid in cash.
“From the documents she submitted, the Embassy officials ought to have known they did not possess the authority to issue her a visa that would be respected in that part of Cyprus where the said university is located. This, our client considers as a serious breach of a duty of care owed to her by the Turkish Embassy in Nigeria,” solicitors to the FCTA official said in making the demand for the N50 million compensation.
The petitioner’s lawyers threatened to take legal action against the Embassy if the demand of their client for compensation was not acceded to.
A copy the petition was also sent to the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.