The police in South Africa have been accused of killing a Nigerian, Ebuka Udugbo in a controversial circumstance.
Ben Okoli, president, Nigerian Citizens Association South Africa (NICASA), disclosed this in a letter to the consul general, Nigerian consulate, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Okoli explained that Udugbo was arrested by South African police over a quarrel with Linda, his girlfriend, on April 28, and later pronounced dead by the police.
“The information we got initially was that he committed suicide while in the South African Police custody in Cape Town. We conducted our own preliminary investigation over the circumstances surrounding his death,” he said.
“What we discovered was really shocking and disheartening from our findings.
“The late Udugbo had a quarrel with his girlfriend and left the house at about 9 a.m on April 28 to avoid further altercation with his girlfriend.
Okoli said that the girlfriend called the police and along with the officers they had gone out in search of Udugbo.
When he was later found by the police driving on the road in town, Udugbo was reportedly stopped, arrested and handcuffed.
“The police took his car keys, left the car by the way and drove with him back to his house in the Police car along with the girlfriend,” he added.
“He was severely beaten by the cops in his house and he fainted. At this point the landlord’s son feared and told the Police to take him to the hospital.
“The police refused, and instead they took him to the Police Station where they claimed that he had allegedly committed suicide.
“We do not accept this police story, we believed that he was killed right in the Police Station and hanged afterwards,” read the letter.
“His case was that of domestic violence, and does not warrant the Police to beat him since he did not in any way resist arrest.”
He said that all circumstances surrounding his death was a clear indication of bias, hate, xenophobia and premeditated action and police high handedness.
“We believed that the late Udugbo was killed and to cover it up the Police hanged him to make it look like suicide,” Okoli said.
“The South African Police service had considered Nigerians as inconsequential and unimportant.
“They tend to always get away with it because they had been allowed to go free in numerous murder cases where they had killed Nigerians,” the letter read.