Nigerian on trial for murder of policeman in South Africa

Emmanuel Chidi Okafor
Emmanuel Chidi Okafor

A Nigerian suspect, Emmanuel Chidumi Okafor, commonly known as ‘Lucky’, who reportedly stabbed a South African Police constable and his cousin to death on January 8, has appeared before a Keimoes Magistrate Court, South Africa.

The President, Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA), Adetola Olubajo, in a statement made available to Daily Sun in Abuja, said Okafor declined to apply for bail when he was arraigned and the magistrate, thereafter, adjourned proceedings until March 23.

The suspect, an indigene of Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, was reported to have carried out the act which led to the 12-hour ultimatum handed to Nigerians and other foreign nationals by indigenes of South Africa’s Keimoes and Upington areas of Northern Cape Province last week to move out.

Olubajo said: “The suspect that allegedly stabbed to death a police constable and his cousin last week, 8th January 2020, appeared at Keimoes Magistrate Court yesterday Monday, 13th January 2020. The suspect is Mr Emmanuel Chidumi Okafor, a Nigerian from Abakaliki, in Ebonyi State, popularly known as Lucky.

“The horrific incident that led to the death of the Constable Stefano Nico Visagies and his cousin led to attacks on properties of foreign nationals, Nigerians inclusive.

“Emmanuel declined to apply for bail and the case was adjourned until the 23rd of March, 2020.”

Olubajo added that while in court, the suspect did not show any remorse when he was interviewed.

Olubajo further said, according to Engr. Barry Amaechi, a Nigerian who resides in Upington, the suspect did not regret his action, saying that before he took the decision, he was already prepared to face the consequences, even if it was death.

“The suspect alleged that he has reported the deceased police officer and his cousins to the Keimoes Police Station for more than six times and the police did nothing. He said that every time he gets money or other valuables, the police officer and his cousins will come and dispossess him of all his valuables.

“He added that the police officer and his cousins rendered his life and labour in Keimoes useless,” Olubajo quoted the suspect to have said.

Olubajo further said although there was a visible police presence in Upington and environs, the situation in the areas was still very tense.

He added that most Nigerians living in the areas were still in hiding, while some have left Upington because the locals are insisting that all foreigners must go.

“They have threatened to attack and eject Nigerians and other foreign nationals.

“Urgent intervention and reintegration of foreign nationals back to the community will go a long way to avoid another round of attacks on lives and properties of foreign nationals in the area,” Olubajo said.

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