Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has hailed the South African court for finding a police constable, Austin Luciano Reynolds, guilty of murder for the killing of a Nigerian man, Ebuka Emmanuel Okoli.
Chairman/CEO Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, expressed satisfaction, saying justice has been served.
In a statement issued by the Head of Media and Public Relations Unit of the Commission, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Dabiri-Erewa said:
“We are glad that justice has been done.
“We had always stated that there has to be consequences for actions. We are glad that this case finally came to an end and South Africa has demonstrated the political will to deal with xenophobia.”
The NIDCOM boss implored Nigerians in South Africa to adhere to President Muhammadu Buhari’s admonition to be the best whereever they find themselves.
She added that Nigeria and South Africa will continuously work towards a united Africa, stressing that those who perpetuate crime, irrespective of their nationality, should face the penalty for their actions.
Dabiri-Erewa commended the Nigerian Mission in Johannesburg for painstakingly following through with the case and other cases involving Nigerians.
Speaking in the same vein, the Consul General of Nigeria in South Africa, Mr Godwin Adama, said that he was happy that the case came to an end on Friday with judgment pronounced on the guilty police officer.
He recalled how his deputy, Mr M J Sambo had been at the court with the Provincial chairman of NICASA and members of Nigerian Community in Durban, Kwazulu Natal Province.
He disclosed that the second case of 8 police men being tried for the murder of a Nigerian, Ibrahim Olamilekan Badmus, was adjourned till April 2020 for final ruling due to some technical issues.
He expressed optimism that judgment in other matters will also be held to be in favour of Nigeria.
The excited Adama said the judgment of Friday has raised the spirit and morale of Nigerians in South Africa.
Okoli was killed by a South Africa police officer, who was found guilty on all the four count charges. There is no death sentence in South Africa law, only life sentences/long prison terms for murder.