The South African Police has released a statement on a Nigerian man who was allegedly tortured to death by its operatives, absorbing itself of blame in the death of the man.
According to South African Police Service [SAPS], the 36-year-old victim, Kingsley Ikeri who resided in Vryheid Province, choked to death after swallowing packets of drugs with beer when police went to arrest him.
The SAPS added that the death of Ikeri could not be blamed on them neither was it a result of a Xenophobic attack or a targeted murder of a resident in their country.
According to the police report, Ikeri was said to have died on Saturday, August 26, 2017, after choking on what is believed to be a small packet of drugs that he attempted to quickly swallow when police arrived at his house.
According to the statement, members of the Ulundi Public Order Policing unit conducted a drug operation in the Vryheid CBD on Saturday, August 26.
A police source said:
“One Mr. Emeka Okoye was arrested for the possession of drugs and detained and upon being questioned, he was said to have given the police information regarding another drug dealer residing in East Street.
Mr. Okoye was said to have pointed out the house of the other said drug dealer but could not give the police his name.
After taking him to the cells, the police proceeded to the said house with the intentions to search for drugs and make possible arrests.
It was here where they found Kingsley Ikeri, who proceeded to swallow an unknown packet, downing it with a beer as they approached him.
He was said to have started choking and members of the police took him to Vryheid Hospital where he was later declared deceased.”
However, Emeka Okoye, a close friend of the late Ikeri, insisted that Ikeri was murdered by the police, punching holes into claims that he killed himself while trying to destroy evidence during a drug raid.
Speaking on the incident in an interview, Okoye, who said he was also arrested on the same day, said the police took him to his house and put a plastic over his face and handcuffed his legs and hands for over an hour and thirty minutes.
Recalling the incident, Okoye said that he had never experienced anything like the ordeal before and that he nearly died.
“Even now, if I cough, I cough out blood,” Okoye said.
Okoye added that after his ordeal, the police took him to the cells and took Ikeri away and he reportedly died while he was being tortured.
An inquest has been opened following Ikeri’s death and samples have been taken for a toxicology report with the SAPS hoping that the results will prove what really happened during the account and that the necessary steps will then be taken.
~ Mark Twain