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Arrest, prosecute those killing our citizens - Nigerians in South Africa tell government

Arrest, prosecute those killing our citizens - Nigerians in South Africa tell government

- Nigerians in South Africa have asked the government to track down and arrest those responsible for the killing of fellow citizens

- The president of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Adetola Olubajo, said that the failure of the government to arrest and prosecute the criminals encourages them to carry on with their crimes

- However, in spite of the ugly and fragile state of the things in the country, Olubajo urged Nigerians to remain civil and law-abiding

Troubled by frequent killings of Nigerians, the Nigerian Union in South Africa has called for the arrests and prosecution of killers.

The president of the union, Adetola Olubajo, blamed the incessant killings of Nigerians in South Africa on lack of prosecution of offenders by the authorities, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

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Olubajo said that the inability of the South African government to bring to book those perpetrating the heinous crimes against Nigerians has given the criminals free hands.

Olubajo said: “Lack of prosecution of these criminal activities has actually embolden a lot of people to feel that they can kill Nigerians without any consequence.” He expressed concern that government’s apathy to arrest and prosecute the killers has made the situation more complex.

He said further: “People are emboldened to perpetrate the crime with impunity and without consequences, because of lack of prosecution. When there are no arrests, no prosecutions, criminals will have effrontery to go into crime without fear of retribution.

“What we are demanding is that whosoever commits any crime should be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.” Olubajo also urged both Nigerian and South African authorities to work together to address the situation and reduce criminal activities against Nigerians in South Africa.

He, however, called Nigerians in South Africa to be law abiding and shun criminal activity. The killing of Nigerians in South Africa had been on the increase in recent times.

The latest was the assassination of Martin Ebuzoeme by unknown assailant in Yeoville, Johannesburg on Thursday, July 12 . The killing came barely 24 hours after the visit of South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa to Nigeria.

Ramaphosa had, during his visit on Wednesday, July 11, said that the killing of Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country was an act of criminality, but not specifically targeted at Nigerians.

Before then, was also the killing of Ozumba Tochukwu-Lawrence, by an unknown gunman at 10 Koppe, Middelburg, Mpumalanga on Friday, July 6.

Another Nigerian, Thankgod Okoro, was also reportedly shot dead in Hamburg, Florida West Rand, Johannesburg, on April 9, by the South African Police Flying Squad.

There was also the killing of Mr Clement Nwaogu a father of two, who was burnt to death by his assailants in April, 2018. The wanton killings of Nigerians in South Africa had sparked a number of protests there. At least 14 of the protesters were taken into custody and allegedly branded drug peddlers.

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The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had expressed worry over the killings of Nigerians in South Africa.

Dabiri-Erewa stated that no fewer than 117 Nigerians were extra-judicially killed in South Africa between 2013 and 2018 for one flimsy reason or the other.

Meanwhile, reported that the Nigerian community in South Africa had expressed shock over the killing of another Nigerian, Martin Ebuzoeme, by unknown assailant in that country.

This was confirmed in Abuja on Sunday, July 15, by the president of Nigerian Union in South Africa. He said that the victim was killed in Yeoville, Johannesburg around 7:30pm on July 12.

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