By Joy Kaka, Isaac Aregbesola
Abuja, Aug.30, 2019
The chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has reiterated her call on the South African Police to speed up the trial of four policemen, linked to the death of Mr Pius Abiaziem.
NAN reports that the South African authorities noted that four members of the South African police service have been arrested and would be charged to court immediately.
Dabiri-Erewa, made the call in a statement issued by Gabriel Odu, the Media Assistant, NIDCOM, in Abuja on Friday.
In furtherance to the arrest and trial of the suspects, she urged the South African Police to expedite action on the matter and speed up their trial as well as the prosecution of others being tried for offences committed against Nigerians.
Abiaziem was reportedly picked up by South African police officers in an eatery and taken to his home for a search and interrogation.
An argument between him and the South African police officers degenerated so fast that a gun shot was fired, leading to Abiaziem’s death in South Africa on Aug.23.
The deceased was married to a South African who was present at the scene of the incident.
He reportedly asked the policemen to kill him in his house as he would not follow them to where they wanted to take him to.
NAN reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, on Wednesday, said his government is working to end killings of Nigerians in his country.
Ramaphosa said this in Japan, venue of the ongoing 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama, after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The South African leader said he feels pained by the situation, especially looking at the relationship between Nigeria and his country which has spanned many years.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Citizens Association in South Africa (NICASA), has called on the South African authorities to arrest and prosecute those involved in the burning and looting of Nigerian businesses in that country.
The President of NICASA, Ben Okoli, made this call in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja from Pretoria, South Africa on Friday.
Okoli said prosecution of the culprits would serve as deterrent to others and forestall such unwarranted occurrence in the future.
He said that crisis erupted on Tuesday in the Pretoria Business District as indigenes angered by the death of a taxi operator apparently thought to be killed by a Nigerian went on rampage.
Okoli said that the said driver was, however, allegedly killed by a Tanzanian which sparked the violence that resorted to looting of shops owned by Nigerians and some other foreigners in that country.
He said that it was painful that erroneous information was sent to the public that sparked the protest which went out of hand, and before the police could curb it, serious damage had been done to Nigerian investments.
According to him, Nigerian-owned businesses looted and burnt include furniture, electronics shops, warehouses, mechanic and motor spare parts shops among others.
Okoli said the impact of the attack was much as millions of Naira was lost by Nigerian businessmen.
He said that though the crisis affected other foreigners, what made the matter worse was that the crisis happened where there were a lot of Nigerian businesses.
He added that a Nigerian had eight vehicles in his car lot burnt by the arsonists, while another had his warehouse containing his 16 years investment destroyed.
The NICASA president said that another had the customer’s car in his mechanic workshop destroyed, causing colossal damage to his investment in the country.
Okoli appealed to Nigerians in that country to remain calm, stressing that the issue had been reported to the Nigerian mission which had pledged holistic action on it.
He urged the Nigerian mission in South Africa to intervene by ensuring the safety of Nigerians in the country.
The NICASA president said that it was time the South African authorities ended xenophobic attacks on foreigners and mainly on Nigerians at any slightest provocation.
“At this juncture, we are appealing to the South African authorities to be in control of security of their country. They must not allow these arsonists to take the laws into their hands always.
“What happened should not have degenerated into chaos if proactive measures were taken by the authority.
“The culprits should be prosecuted, we are no longer accepting the injustice, the damage is colossal and should not repeat itself,” Okoli said.