The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has condemned the further extrajudicial killings of Nigerians living in South Africa.
This is contained in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Abdurrahman Balogun, released on Saturday in Abuja.
Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa said the killing of Kingsley Ikeri, another member of the Nigerian Union in that country, at Vryheid town in Kwazulu Natal Province of South Africa on August 30, was one death too many.
Mr. Ikeri, 27, was a businessman and native of Mbaitolu in Imo State. He is the second Imo indigene to be so killed in the last two weeks.
An extrajudicial killing, also known as extrajudicial execution, is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process.
She 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”.
Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa described the latest extrajudicial killing as “worrying and condemnable”.
She said that the latest gruesome killing of Ikeri by the police in South Africa, is “unacceptable to the people and government of Nigeria.”
Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa reiterated 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 had increased the number of Nigerians killed in South Africa through extrajudicial means in the last one year.
“The barbaric behaviour of the perpetrators is not only unacceptable, but also calls for urgent attention by diplomatic authorities in Nigeria and South Africa”, she said.
Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa urged the South African government to ensure that justice prevails by carrying out investigation and bring the culprit to book.
She reiterated her calls to Nigerians living abroad to always respect the laws of their host countries and be good ambassadors of Nigeria.
“My heart goes out to the families of the deceased and pray God to grant the departed soul eternal rest”, the SSA prayed.
Bartholomew Eziagulu, Chairman of the Nigerian Union in the province, told journalists on Friday that Mr. Ikeri was allegedly tortured to death by the police.
He 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.
Adetola Olubajo, the Secretary General of the union, said the national secretariat had been informed about the death of the Nigerian.
He said the body had informed appropriate Nigerian authorities and the police in South Africa.
Report has it that a senior diplomat from the Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg had visited Vryheid on a fact-finding mission.
Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa had in February during a meeting in Abuja with South Africa High Commissioner, 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.