19 January 2013

Nigerians in South Africa Protest Killing in Police Custody

Members of the Nigerian community in Western Cape, South Africa, protested in Cape Town yesterday over the allegedly killing of a Nigerian by the South Africa police while in custody.

Mr Mojeed Biobaku, the Secretary of Nigeria Union, Western Cape, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Johannesburg that Mr Obinna Ugboaja was killed on Jan. 5, by the police over allegation of swallowing drugs after an arrest.

"Obinna on Jan. 5, was arrested by the police on the allegation that he was in possession of drugs, the police claimed that he tried to swallow the drug when arrested.

"The victim was forcefully put in the police vehicle and assaulted inside the police van and at the police station, 30 minutes after his arrest Obinna died in police custody," Biobaku said.

He said members of the union went to the police station on hearing about the death of the victim, but said the police prevented members of the deceased's family from seeing his body while at the police station.

"We had engaged the services of a lawyer to represent us officially on this issue and to ensure we get justice at the end," he said.

Meanwhile, the Consul General at the Nigeria Embassy, Mr Okey Emuchay, told NAN that his office was aware of the incident.

"It is an unfortunate incident and this is not the first time Nigerians would be assaulted by members the South African police.

He said the Nigerian Consulate would follow the incident and ensure that justice was done.


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