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Rep decries killing of Nigerians in South Africa

27/01/2016 11:02

The Chairman House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon Rita Orji, representing, Ajeromi/Ifelodun federal constituency has decried the recent killing of Nigerians in South Africa, describing it as an epidemic that is getting worse by the day.


In a press statement, the lawmaker called on the Nigerian Consul General to South Africa, Uche Ajulu-Okeke, to act fast on this incident and present a report to the Federal Government as he promised.


She said: “From tales of xenophobic attacks against foreigners, Nigerians included, to all kinds of violent crimes perpetuated against Nigerians in South Africa by both the police and citizens, we are, once again, saddened by another incident of a Nigerian dying under the custody of the Police. Eye witness account reported that the South African police arrested the deceased, Mr Timothy Chinedu, tied his hands and covered his face with a cellophane bag. The Nigerian national was allegedly suffocated to death by the police in Kempton Park, Johannesburg. The Police, however, is alleging that he died after ingesting drugs but a Nigerian witnessed the entire incident and reported it to us.”


“This is coming at the heels of another Nigerian, Christiana Onyeka, 34 years old, killed on 3 December, 2015, in her husband’s office near Johannesburg by yet to be identified gunmen. This recent death of Mr Chinedu has sparked off protests among Nigerians and some sympathizers, carrying placards and chanting songs in solidarity with the deceased Nigerian. While there have been conflicting reports on the cause of the death from the police and the eye witnesses , the bizarre circumstances surrounding his death have once again thrown up the recurring issue of the South African police brutality against Nigerian suspects under their custody. This is an epidemic that is only getting worse by the day,”


According to her, “The number of Nigerians being killed by South Africans or found dead while in police custody every now and then have increased drastically in recent times. These deaths are tragic, but the sad truth is that these sorts of incidents happen routinely and are likely not going to abate soon until the South African authorities employ stringent measures to tackle police brutality and checkmate the excesses of South Africans who always brazenly take the laws into the hands.


“While we await the outcome of the independent autopsy report, I would remind the South African authorities that it has the responsibility and obligation under international law to protect foreigners and to ensure that their fundamental human rights are not trampled upon by the police or private citizens. Article Articles 5 – 10 of the Declaration on the Human Rights of Individuals Who are not Nationals of the Country in which They Live states it clearly among others that the right to life and security of the person, including freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention should be guaranteed. I am calling on the Nigeria`s Consul General to South Africa, Uche Ajulu-Okeke, to act fast on this incident and present a report to the Federal Government as he promised.”

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