ABUJA – Nigeria on Tuesday summoned South Africa’s envoy over allegations that the South African Police Service (SAPS) suffocated a Nigerian national to death while he was in police custody.
The Nigerian foreign ministry said Kingsley Ikeri, a 27-year-old living in eastern KwaZulu-Natal, had been “suffocated to death by the South African police on the allegation that he was involved in drug trafficking”.
The ministry “summoned the South African Acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Kenneth Pedro, to protest the extra-judicial killing”, it added in a statement.
Ikeri, an Ibo from south-east Nigeria, had been living in Vryheid in KZN. He reportedly died on August 30.
The ministry said Ifeoma Akabogu Chinwuba, under-Secretary for Regions and International Organisations, had expressed Nigeria’s anger at the alleged killing to the South African envoy. She urged South African authorities to bring those “responsible for the despicable acts” to justice, the statement said.
“She further informed Mr Pedro that while the Federal Government of Nigeria would not condone illegal or anti-social acts or criminalities, it behoves the South African government to ensure that every resident accused of any offence is presumed innocent until proven guilty through the judicial process,” it added.
South African authorities were not immediately reachable for comment. The alleged extra-judicial killing is the latest source of diplomatic tension between the two continental powerhouses.
In February, Nigeria summoned South Africa’s ambassador over a fresh wave of immigrant violence that left dozens of shops owned by Nigerians vandalised in Johannesburg and Pretoria.