Nigeria has condemned the South African police for the death of one of its citizen Victor Tochukwu Nnadi.
Reports had it that the Nigerian national died during a confrontation with the police last week. He was reportedly choked to death by police on Thursday, December 29th after he was arrested for allegedly selling drugs.
But South African police denied the reports, stating that Nnadi resisted arrest on suspicion of drug dealing and died after swallowing a dose of heroin that he was trying to sell.
According to eyewitnesses Tochukwu, the victim popularly known as King Kingsley didn’t resist arrest and didn’t struggle after he was arrested and handcuffed. One of them, however, disclosed that he started coughing out blood after one of the cops held onto his neck and squeezed tightly.
In reaction to the ugly development, the Nigerian government called for “urgent” diplomatic action on the “barbaric” and “extra-judicial” killing.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, a senior aide to the president on foreign affairs and the Nigerian diaspora said, “The barbaric behaviour of the perpetrators is not only unacceptable but also calls for urgent attention by diplomatic authorities in Nigeria and South Africa.”
The Nigerian national also appealed to Nigerians living in South Africa to desist from perpetrating crimes and indulging in the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws.
She downplayed claims that Tochukwu died of heroin intake. The Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA), stated that Tochukwu’s body is yet to be examined, to truly ascertain if he died of heroin or not.
“The accused is innocent until proven guilty. This is not a crime to be a Nigerian. We tend to believe that Nigerian lives don’t matter to them,” NUSA spokesman Emeka Ezinteje Collins told reporters.
The police have since launched an investigation into the death of Victor Tochukwu Nnadi.