Nigerians living in Gauteng, South Africa have protested against the alleged extra-judicial killing of a 34- year-old man, Timothy Chinedu, by the South African police.
Chairman of the Nigeria Union in Gauteng Province, Mr. Mathew Okafor, told the News Agency of Nigeria on phone from Johannesburg that Mr. Chinedu was allegedly suffocated to death by the police after his arrest by 9.00 a.m. on Saturday.
Mr. Okafor claimed that Chinedu, who is a native of Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State was arrested at Kempton Park in Ekulurheni Municipality, Gauteng Province by the South African police with his hands tied and his face covered with a cellophane bag.
“We suspect that Chinedu died of suffocation. That is why Nigerians in the province mobilised and staged a protest against this extra-judicial killing,” he said.
According to him, the South Africa police claimed he died after ingesting hard drugs.
“The South African police is alleging that he died after ingesting drugs but a Nigerian witnessed the entire incident and reported it to us. The case has been handed over to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) that investigates police misconduct in South Africa. We have been given the contacts of key persons that we need to be talking to as this investigation proceeds so that we can monitor the development.”
Also he added that:
“An autopsy is being carried out and we are waiting for the coroner’s report. We have also reported this incident to the national body of Nigeria Union and Nigerian Mission in South Africa.We have also gotten the contacts of the relatives of the deceased and we have duly informed them of the tragedy.”
The President of Nigeria Union in South Africa, Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, confirmed the incident, stating that the deceased did not die of drug ingestion as the police claims, he urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to look into the continued killings of Nigerians in South Africa by the police.
“We take exception to the continued torture of Nigerians by the South African police. The union believes that there is the due process to follow after a suspect is arrested instead of resorting to torture. We also want to state that the Nigerian did not die of drug ingestion as being alleged by the South African police.”
Uche Ajulu-Okeke, Nigeria`s Consul General to South Africa has also confirmed the incident saying that the mission will investigate the incident and present a report to the Federal Government.