Vryheid, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa September 2nd: Bartholomew Eziagulu, Chairman of the Nigerian Union in KwaZulu Natal province, told reporters on Friday that Kingsley Ikeri, 27, a businessman and native of Mbaitolu in Imo State, Nigeria was allegedly tortured to death by the South African police at Vryheid town in KwaZulu Natal Province of South Africa on August 30. Bartholomew Eziagulu said the union’s investigations revealed that the police arrested the deceased and a friend on suspicion that they were carrying hard drugs. He said while interrogating him, the police used plastic to cover his face to extort information from him. “In the process, they suffocated the deceased. When the police took him to the hospital, he was confirmed dead,” he said.
Bartholomew Eziagulu said the Nigerian Union had informed appropriate Nigerian authorities and the police in South Africa. Kingsley Ikeri, becomes the second Imo indigene to be so killed in the last two weeks. Adetola Olubajo, the Secretary General of the union in South Africa, also said the national secretariat of the Nigerian Union had been informed about the death of Kingsley Ikeri.
Meanwhile Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora for the umpteenth time has condemned the incessant extra judicial killings of Nigerians living in South Africa. In a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Abdurrahman Balogun, the Presidential aide said ” this is one death, too many….worrying and condemnable……unacceptable to the people and government of Nigeria. The barbaric behaviour of the perpetrators is not only unacceptable but also calls for urgent attention by diplomatic authorities in Nigeria and South Africa”
Abike Dabiri-Erewa said in spite of all diplomatic talks between Nigeria and South Africa to put an early warning signal in place,” it doesn’t seem to be working”. “My heart goes out to the families of the deceased and I pray God to grant the departed soul eternal rest”, the Senior Special Assistant said.
While reiterating President Muhammadu Buhari’s calls to Nigerians to avoid crimes like drug peddling which attracts stiff penalties, sometimes death, she noted that the latest killing has increased the number of Nigerians killed in South Africa through extrajudicial means in the last one year.
Dabiri-Erewa urged the South African government to ensure that justice prevails by carrying out investigation and bring the culprit to book. Dabiri-Erewa had in February during a meeting in Abuja with South Africa High Commissioner, Mr Lulu Louis Mnguni said a total of 116 Nigerians have been killed in South Africa through extrajudicial means in the last two years.Seven in 10 of the killings were carried out by the South African Police.
South Africa Police Officer Strangle Nigerian, Uchenna Eloh, To Death While Another Officer Held Him Down
The Nigerian Union in South Africa on Thursday said that another Nigerian, Mr Uchenna Eloh, from Eziagu in Eziagu Local Government Area of Enugu State has been killed in the Western Cape Province of that country.
Kanayo Onwumelu, Chairman, Western Cape chapter of the union, told News Agency on telephone from Cape Town that Eloh was strangled to death by South African policemen.
“We want to call the attention of Nigerian Government to the senseless killing of innocent Nigerians by the police in South Africa. At about 11.00 a.m. South African time on Wednesday, a Nigerian, Uchenna Emmanuel Eloh, popularly known as “Monkey’’, was killed by a South African police officer.
“He was walking out of his house toward the bus station when a police van stopped to search him, suspecting that he might be in possession of illegal substance. Three policemen accosted Eloh, one of them, by the name Williams, held him on the neck suspecting that he swallowed a substance, while another police officer held him by the legs,’’
The union official alleged that the policemen dragged Eloh on the ground until he started foaming and suffocated to death on the spot.
“This is not the first time such senseless killing of innocent Nigerians was carried out by South African police officers. We have reported similar killings to the South African Government and Nigeria High Commission in South Africa and nothing was done to bring the culprits to book. We want the Nigerian Government to intervene to stop this brutality against innocent Nigerians and stop killing Nigerians out of hatred, racism or xenophobia,’’ he said.
Ikechukwu Anyene, President of Nigerian Union in South Africa, called for an end to the incessant killing of Nigerians in South Africa.
“Our government needs to do something urgently to make it clear that Nigerian lives matter. We have made suggestions on what can be done, but it is now clear to us that the endless talks cannot yield any positive result,’’ Anyene said.
He said that the union had engaged a lawyer to take up the case against South African Police Service.
“But, this kind of legal service should form part of consular services to provide legal services to victimised Nigerians,’’ Anyene said.
Photo: South Africa Police With Corpse Of A Man
The union said that the police have opened an inquest into the case.