A Nigerian, Tony Elochukwu, has been killed by an unidentified gunman in South Africa.
His death brings to three the number of Nigerians killed within three days (April 6-9) in that country, according to Ben Okoli, president of Nigerian Citizens Association in South Africa (NICASA).
Okoli in a letter sent to Godwin Adams, consular general, Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg decried the death and continued killings of Nigerians in the country, adding that people are worried and scared since none of the suspects has been arrested or charged.
“We received yet again the sad news of the death of another Nigerian in Witbank Mpumalanga province. Mr. Tony Elochukwu from Nnobi Anambra State was shot twice in the head by an unidentified Nigerian gunman on April 24 at around 2:45 pm,” he said.
Okoli alleged that a lone Nigerian man walked to some others at a restaurant and inquired from them where to get some weed to smoke.
He said those standing, however, told him that they did not know where since they do not smoke but the man pulled out his gun and shot Elochukwu on the head, then sped off in a car parked down the street.
He added that a case of murder had been opened at the police station by Obeji Chukwuma, NICASA chairman, in Mpumalanga area of the country.
“This looks like another case of Nigerians killing themselves. This ugly trend of Nigerians killed by fellow Nigerians is on the increase and is disturbing to our community,” he said.
“NICASA is deeply worried over the death and continued killings of our citizens in South Africa.
“People are worried and scared, since none of the perpetrators had been arrested or charged over it.”
He appealed to the consulate to put pressure on the South African police to pursue cases of killings of any Nigerian with seriousness.
“The South African police must stop attempting to encourage this killings by lack of investigation and prosecution with aim of bringing to justice every criminal involved in these heinous crimes,” he said.
Adams also condemned the killings but said they do not fit into xenophobic attacks.
“It is clear that as much as any form of criminality and xenophobic attacks against foreigners, including Nigerians in South Africa is condemnable, the killings do not fit into xenophobic attacks,” he said.
“The cases are the stabbing of a Nigerian, Mr. Bonny Iwuola, in Turfontain in Johannesburg on April 6 at about 23:30 hours in front of his house, by unknown assailants, and more of crime related murder.
“Another Nigerian, Gozien Christian, from Agbor in Delta State, was stabbed to death by three unknown assailants. No arrest has been made but cases were opened and police are investigating the murders.
“The third case of murder which happened on the night of April 8 at Sunnyside in Pretoria happened at the usual place of cult-related murders by Nigerian cult groups.
“This particular case had more connection with business-related disagreement that turned sour.
“Investigations are on but eye witness accounts indicated that he was killed and his new Mercedes car-2019 model was snatched and driven away. All these cases do not appear to be xenophobic.
“They are part of the usual crime-related killings in South Africa. Police statistics in South Africa indicate that over 18,000 murders take place in South Africa in a year.”
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