A brilliant Nigerian medical student in Russia, Usman Yahaya, has been suspended by the Irkutsk State Medical University (ISMU) and detained at a Russian immigration camp at Angarsk Irkutsk, by authorities of the European nation’s Immigration.
Yahaya, PRNigeria learnt, is the best African medical student in ISMU Russia, even as he is the first African medical student to obtain a 5.20 GPA grade and a Fellowship Certificate from the Russian Centre for Scientific Research (RCSR).
It was gathered that Yahaya’s travails were orchestrated by the Director, Foreign Students at the Sokoto State Scholarship Board, Kabiru Labaran who has been ‘removing’ part of Yahaya’s foreign bursary, approved yearly by the state government, since 2016.
While narrating his ordeal in the hands of the official of the Sokoto Scholarship board, Yahaya, in an interview with PRNigeria, said: “I was initially sponsored to study medicine, MBBS, in the Republic of Sudan in 2014 by the Sokoto State Government, under the Sokoto State Scholarship Board.
“Because the university they took us to study was newly-established and substandard with poor teaching methods, many parents, most especially Sokoto elites relocated their children to other universities. Some were transferred to the universities inside Sudan, while to other countries like the UK, Russia, Uganda, and Egypt, leaving only children of the poor masses at Nahada College.
“In late 2015, I wrote to seek relocation of study, as many others did and my request was approved to go to Russia. A new sponsorship letter was issued to me on July 18th 2017, in that regard.
“Earlier in May 2017, when I was told that my request was approved by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, I returned to Nigeria to claim my scholarship stipends. But on checking my files in the Scholarship Board it was documented that the payments for the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions were paid to me, which was not true.
“And then, the years were calculated as part of my years of initial sponsorship to Sudan. When I asked questions about the funds, the then Director-General, Alh. Murtala and the current Director of Foreign Students, Kabiru Labaran, threatened to remove me from the state government beneficiaries for asking too many questions.
“Therefore, I was afraid and backed off because of their threats but the payments for the abovementioned years were documented as paid to me, which is untrue.
“Since then, It was compulsory that on every payment I received from the government, I must pay a kickback to the Director of Foreign Students of the Scholarship, Kabiru Labaran. These payments are sometimes through the persons I assigned to receive my payment by cash and sometimes through the bank transfer of which I have the transfer proof to back up my claims.
“Furthermore, payments for my tuition and upkeep allowances for the year 2018-2019 were approved by Governor Tambuwal, but the Director of Foreign Students, in collaboration with some of the Scholarship Board Staff, vehemently short paid my scholarship stipends to the sum of N800,000, as against the governor’s approval.
“Also when I demanded the refund of my money, the officer threatened that it would affect my subsequent payments if I ask too many questions.”
According to the Nigerian medical student based in Russia, Labaran would soon launch several allegations against him for daring to ask pertinent questions.
He said, “Firstly, he started by saying I was not officially sponsored by the government, even when I have the official sponsorship letter that the government sent to my university, the Russian Embassy in Abuja and the Nigerian Embassy in Moscow to inform them about my sponsorship in 2017.
“When that failed, he alleged that I was not truly studying medicine in Russia. He also came up with allegations that I was been sponsored by the political opposition party in Sokoto state to antagonise the governor’s presidential ambition.”
PRNigeria gathered that Yahaya has been suspended from ISMU over charges of visa and residency violations due to his inability to make payments and get registered for his final-year medical examination, whose registration had closed on April 28, 2022.
Again, ISMU forwarded Yahaya’s documents to the Russian police and immigration and he was invited and detained at the immigration camp. He has appeared twice in the state court and if eventually convicted, Yahaya may be expelled from ISMU, detained or even banned from entering Russia, in the nearest future.
When contacted by PRNigeria on the plight of the medical student, the newly appointed Executive Chairman of Sokoto Scholarship Board, Alhaji Hassan Rabah, said he was yet to be fully briefed about the issue but promised to look into the matter. mised to look into the matter.