Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Republic of South Africa has assured the Federal government that it will make open, issues surrounding the death of Elizabeth Ndubuisi-Chukwu who died in a hotel in South Africa.
Recall that there has been conflicting reports over the cause of the death of Ndubuisi-Chukwu, a Deputy Director-General of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria.
The South African acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe, during a meeting with the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said investigation had been opened regarding the incidence.
Also present at the meeting held at the South African High Commission, Abuja, was the brother of the deceased, Dr. Chiedu Ndubisi.
Moroe stated that the video footage had been submitted by the hotel management to assist in the process of unravelling the actual cause of Ndubuisi-Chukwu’s death.
While bemoaning the unfortunate situation, Moroe assured that all efforts were geared towards ensuring a proper investigation.
“A lot has been done by the South African High Commission, its consulate in Lagos, our government, together with the law enforcement agencies in South Africa. The reports we have received on Sunday in the early evening is that docket of investigation has been open in Johannesburg and the matter is under investigation and it has been prioritised.
“That once the outcome of the investigation on the actual cause of the untimely passing of Mrs Chukwu has been obtained, a detailed report shall be provided. But we commit, if need be, even before the actual report is issued, as and when we received intermittent update on the status, we would ensure that we provide the same to the family, to yourselves and other stakeholders.
“The South African police services are working very closely with the staff and management of Emperor Palace, the hotel that Mrs Chukwu untimely lost her life. A video footage has been obtained and it is being studied and we are waiting for the authorities to give us an update.
“You will also appreciate that we are constrained at this point to speculate or to provide as much information as possible because the matter is still under investigation.
“So, we wouldn’t want to put the horse before the cat because we think this is a very sensitive case. We need to thread with the greatest of respect. We are talking about loss of human life and our government is dealing with the matter with the greatest priority,” Moroe said.
Moroe further said the meeting with Dabiri-Erewa marked the commencement of renewed ties between the Republic of South Africa and Nigeria on the death of Ndubuisi-Chukwu and other matters.
“It is the beginning of another journey in our relationship between Nigeria and South Africa. It is our best interest to keep intact. It is in our best interest to leave a legacy for prosperity for those who will come after us to understand the genesis of this relationship and what this relationship means to the people of South Africa and Nigeria.
“We have spoken about the possibility of cultural exchange programmes particularly among the youths. A very, very critical area we have to look at because it will increase their understanding, it will increase their learning,” Moroe further said.
On her part, Dabiri-Erewa requested that justice be done in the case of Ndubuisi-Chukwu, even as she called for a final closure on the matter.
“We are here to implore you to please ensure cooperation and ensure that the mysterious circumstances of the death of the late Elizabeth will be unravelled. We know that personally, you have done so much on this matter.
“But we are here to appeal on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria and the family that for the sake of both countries, we need to know what happened to Mrs Elizabeth. For the sake of the family, we need to get a closure to know how, why, when and what happened to her.
“We know we have been dealing with the issues of xenophobia and which in fairness to South African government, we have about eight policemen that have been charged for cases relating to maltreatment of Nigerians in South Africa.
“While we call on Nigerians to behave themselves wherever they are, we are here to demand justice, fairness and demand that the pains of this family would perhaps be eased a little bit. We know we cannot bring her back, but we look unto you and appeal to you for your cooperation between both countries to unravel the death of this unfortunate circumstances concerning Mrs Elizabeth Uju Ndubuisi-Chukwu,” Dabiri-Erewa said.
In his remarks, Ndubuisi said he was hopeful that the South African Government would get to the root of the circumstances surrounding the death of his sister.