Nigerians living in South Africa have expressed displeasure at the alleged killing of a Nigerian, Celestine Nwokeocha, 36, by the South African Police.
The President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Adetola Olubajo, expressed the feeling of Nigerians to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the telephone from Pretoria, South Africa, yesterday.
He said witnesses alleged that Nwokeocha was tortured and beaten to death in his house at Sasolburg area of Free State Province by the police on January 15.
“An inquest docket has been opened at Zamdela Police Station, Sasolburg, with case number 183/01/2019.
“Also, Independent Police Investigation Department (IPID) is involved in the case and we have been assured that justice will be served in the matter,” he said.
Olubajo said that two witnesses, Nonso, a Nigerian and Palesa, a South African, were arrested by the same police officers who allegedly killed Nwokeocha.
“The witnesses, however, appeared in court on January 17, but while the South African, Palesa, was granted bail, Nonso, who is a Nigerian, was denied bail.
“Autopsy has been done by one Dr. Humphris and no sign of any substance was found in the deceased stomach.
“But there are bruises on his face, blood in his mouth and two bruises on his chest; a sign of lack of oxygen,” the president said.
He advised Nigerians resident in Sasolburg to stay calm and remain law-abiding, while the union works to find justice for the deceased.
According to him, Nigerians are advised to avoid engaging in activities that will jeopardise the successful prosecution of the alleged police officers.
“Nwokeocha is survived by his wife and seven-month old baby girl,” Olubajo said.
The office of the Consulate General of Nigeria in South Africa has condemned the killing of Nwokeocha.
The Vice-Consul, Information and Culture, Laren Jingina, said: “The Consulate detests in strongest terms, infringements of the law by security agents.
“The consulate demands compliance with the due process of the law, adding that if it suspects infringement by anyone it will do the needful.”
Jingina said the consulate was already in discussion with the relevant host authorities and would ensure that justice is done and the affected police officers brought to justice.
Jingina also urged members of the deceased family and Nigerians living in Sasolburg to remain calm and law abiding as the consulate seeks justice for the deceased.