EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING: SOUTH AFRICAN COURT SENTENCES POLICE OFFICER TO JAIL OVER DEATH OF NIGERIAN NATIONAL.
SOUTH AFRICAN COURT SENTENCES POLICE OFFICER TO JAIL FOR EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING OF NIGERIAN NATIONAL.
A South African Police Constable, Austin Reynold, was on Monday sentenced to 32 years in prison by a Durban High Court for robbing and killing a Nigerian, Emeka Okoli, sometme in 2018.
The policeman was found guilty of robbing and killing the late Okoli during an illegal raid in the community where the deceased lived only three days ago.
Justice Shyam Gyanda, sentenced Reynold to seven ( 7)years on counts of robbery and twenty five (25) years for murder.
Reacting to the judgment, the Nigerian community in South Africa hailed the sentencing of the South African police officer who shot at close range and killed Okoli.
The police officer was said to have killed the Nigerian citizen on January 18,2018.
In a statement by the umbrella body of Nigerians in South Africa, the president, Adetola Olubajo said,
“The Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA) is vindicated with the sentencing of Constable Austin Reynold.
“We were at the scene of the murder on Jan. 19, 2018 to ensure that our people didn’t take the law in their own hands,’’ NUSA President, Adetola Olubajo said in a statement.
“We later ensured that a murder case was registered at Durban Police Station and the case was charged to court immediately due to the cooperation of the investigating officer at Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPDI).
I led a delegation of the National Executive of Nigerian Union South Africa from Pretoria to Durban Magistrates’ Court on Jan. 21, 2018 where the bail application was heard.
“And since then we have been following the case, attending the trial with the head of our Legal Desk.’’
He said that the colleague of Reynold, Brinley Pallo, who was with him when he shot and killed Okoli later turned state witness.
“We are delighted and welcomed the outcome of the trial because our labour did not go in vain and this case will serve as a deterrent to rogue elements within the South African Police Service.
“We give special thanks to Mr Omoreige Ogboro, the Legal Adviser of the union, who travelled from Pretoria to Durban on several occasions to watch the brief in court.
“Also, to IPID for their cooperation. NUSA is also keenly following and attending the trial of eight police officers charged with the murder of the late Badmus Olalekan Ibrahim.
“The trial was postponed to April 13, 2020. We are very optimistic that justice will be served in the murder case of Ibrahim and we call on all Nigerians in South Africa to remain law-abiding,’’ Olubajo said.
The body is anxiously waiting for the outcome of another case involving the alleged killing of another Nigerian by 8 police men in South Africa.