Diplomatic row looms as South African police kill Nigerian businessman


A diplomatic row is looming between Nigeria and South Africa after South Africa policemen allegedly suffocated a Nigerian businessman, Kingsley Ikeri, to death on August 30, 2017.
He was the second Nigerian to be murdered by South Africans in the last two weeks.
Ikeri, who hailed from Mbaitoli in Imo State, was killed in Vryheid town in Kwazulu Natal Province of South Africa after South African police accused him of carrying drugs.
This was confirmed by the Nigerian Union in South Africa.
Bartholomew Eziagulu, chairman of the Nigerian Union in the province, told newsmen on Friday that 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.
Meanwhile, a diplomatic row is looming between both nations as the Nigerian government has demanded an investigation into Ikeri’s killing.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora in a statement 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.”
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.”
Dabiri-Erewa described the latest extra-judicial killing of another Nigerian in South Africa 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.”
While reiterating President Muhammadu Buhari’s calls to Nigerians to avoid crimes like drug peddling which attract stiff penalties, sometimes death, she noted that the latest killing has increased the number of Nigerians murdered in South Africa through extra-judicial 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.
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.
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 had 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.


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