Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry student Ozeivo Akerele: Sonar search of canals

CCTV image of Ozeivo Akerele Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Ozeivo Akerele, 24, was last seen at Iglu nightclub in the early hours of 31 January

Specialist sonar equipment is being used by police searching for a missing student from Nigeria.

Ozeivo Akerele, 24, was last seen at Iglu nightclub on Spon Street, Coventry, at 03:30 GMT on 31 January.

He had started a masters degree at Coventry University only weeks after arriving in the UK.

The device loaned from the Home Office will be used to search a 500m (1,640ft) stretch of canal between the A444 bridge and the Foleshill Road bridge.

Sonar signals will be sent into the canal from wires lowered over the side of a boat, police said, and a display shows any unusual objects detected.

Data from the search will be analysed by scientists, with expert police search officers deployed to inspect any particular areas of interest if required, West Midlands Police said.

Insp Alastair Orencas said: "[The] searches of the canal are not in response to any specific information, but form a part of routine inquiries based on where Ozi was last seen on CCTV near Old Church Road."

Image caption Irene Akerele has been searching Coventry in a bid to find her son

His mother Irene Akerele has travelled from Abuja to help in the search and has handed out flyers in the city centre.

They have also been distributed among Coventry City fans at the Ricoh Arena.

The force believes Mr Akerele may have been on the Foleshill Road, between Park Street and the A444, at about 07:00 on 31 January.

He called friends for a lift from Coventry University but when the car arrived he had disappeared and has not been seen since.

Mr Akerele is described as black, 6ft 2ins tall and slim. He was last seen wearing jeans, blue and white Converse trainers and a grey or black jacket.

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