Nigerian medical student killed in Ukraine

Abiose Adelaja Adams

The family of Gbolade Ejemai, a 30-year-old, Nigerian medical student, who was murdered in Kharkov, Ukraine, allegedly by one Victoria Popvrako, is crying out for justice.


Up to 150 Nigerians living in the diaspora have been murdered across countries such as South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China and Ukraine, in the last three and half years.

Ejemai, a final year medical student of Kharkov International Medical University, had lived in Ukraine for 10 years during which he had made an acquaintance of Popvrako.

TheCable gathered that Popvrako, a 36-year-old Ukrainian mother of two, had planned with her father to kill him. She had invited him over to her house to have a discussion – an invitation the deceased had unsuspectingly honoured.


“At 10:22 am, I received a distress message from him,” his young widow, Victoria Luganska, told TheCable, in a phone interview. The message read – Traktorostroitelei 95, 188 apartment, call police! that there is a conflict.

“As I was trying to do that, he called me again at 10:36 am, crying and saying that they had stabbed him.”

Before Luganska could get there, she met an ambulance conveying him to the hospital (City Clinical Hospital for Emergency and Emergency Medicine), where he later slipped into coma.


Segun Ashade, a friend of the deceased, also told TheCable, in a phone chat, that the whole incident was master-minded and executed by the lady and her father.

Ashade recounted that the deceased narrated his ordeal on hospital bed, three days after he came out from coma.

“Gbolade said they had an argument in the room. (The girl’s father, Mr. Popravko was reportedly in the house as well on that day). In the heat of the argument, the lady’s father brought a knife with which the lady stabbed Gbolade in the stomach. He later heard them saying this is not enough to kill him, get something else! The father scuttled in and out of the room and returned with a hammer, and struck Gbolade on the head with it,” he said.

It was reported that after two unsuccessful surgeries, he eventually passed five days later (August 14) from complications of the injuries sustained from the incident.


When TheCable visited the family in the Egbeda area of Lagos on Friday, it was an ambience of unspeakable grief.

The family said although nothing could be done to bring back their beloved son, they want speedy justice be served on the perpetrators of the murder.

A member of the family told TheCable that the matter had already been brought to the attention of Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairman/chief executive officer of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission.

“Nigeria will lodge a formal complaint on the matter,” Dabiri-Erewa was quoted as saying.


Meanwhile Popvrako, who was initially apprehended on the day of the incident, was granted bail after 24 hours.

Similarly, the father, who allegedly played a well-rehearsed role in the cold-blooded murder, is also walking as a free man.

Over 15 million Nigerians are living in the diaspora, and they are the most educated immigrant group, well represented across various professional fields, according to data from the commission.

The deceased left behind a sibling and mother.

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