African Outlook gathered that the Nigerian identified as Olaolu Sunkanmi Femi and one of his friends were physically 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.
According to eye witness account, Sunkanmi was said to have managed to get up and defended himself against the assailants with a glass from a broken bottle.
“It was while he was defending himself that police arrived at the scene and the Nigerian was subsequently arrested and charged with attempted murder of five people,” a Nigerian embassy staff who has knowledge of the case told African Outlook, adding that the victim thus became an accused in a case which has become a celebrated case in Ukraine.
African Outlook gathered that Olasunkanmi has since been remanded in detention by the Ukrainian police who refused to take the case to court citing unavailability of the police to get an interpreter for him.
But the Nigerian students’ community in Ukraine under the leadership of Osarumen David-Izevbokun, a PhD student in International Relations has been working tirelessly to ensure justice for the Nigerian by organizing protests as well as drawing the attentions of the human right groups in Ukraine to the plight of Olasunkanmi who has spent almost seven months in jail without trial.
David-Izevbokun told African Outlook that he alongside other Nigerian students in conjunctions with some members of the Ukrainian human right groups staged a protest on April, 9 outside the Leninsky District Court in Luhanski demanding the release of Olasunkanmi.
The actions, according to David-Izevbokun has put the Ukraine police on the spot as the case came up for hearing on May 3. “We had a lot of media coverage on the protest ” David-Izevbokun said, noting that he was sure the attention given the case may have prompted the May 3 court appearance of the suspect.
David-Izevbokun who was at the May 3, court hearing told African Outlook that Olasunkanmi appeared depressed when he showed up in court.
Many other Nigerian students spoken to by African Outlook however raised concern about the competence of the female lawyer: Ludmila Havrysh handling Olasunkanmi’s case.
The Ukrainian lawyer was reported to have told protesters that her client has not been able to read the file material since it is all written in Ukrainian or Russian which he doesn’t understand and that was why her client had remained in jail.