Posted by Olaniyi Abodedele on Sunday, June 8, 2014 Under: News Stories
” It is no longer acceptable for a Nigerian to be killed and nothing is done” - A.K Balogun Nigeria High Commission
It was sorrow for the entire Nigerian community in South Africa as the news broke out at around 5pm on Saturday 25th of May 2014 that Miss Naizi Evah; a 20 years old Nigerian lady, and a final year student at the Vaal University of Technology in Vandebijlpark, Gauteng was stabbed to death by an alleged 23 years old Zimbabwean student who was her former boyfriend.
Miss Naizi Evah is an Ijaw girl from Delta State in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. She arrived South Africa in 2011 at the age of 16 years, and immediately got admission to the Vaal University of Technology to study Computer Systems Engineering. Until her death, she was undergoing her internship which was due to end in June, and her graduation was to take place in September 2014.
Mr. Michael Evah the deceased legal guardian gave The Nigerian Voice Newspaper details of the murder and police investigation on the 28th May 2014 at the Nigeria High Commission in Pretoria.
A docket has been opened at the Vanderbijlpark Police Station, and the alleged suspect was apprehended. He appeared in court on Tuesday 27th of May 2014, and has been granted bail. The next date for the suspect to appear in court is yet to be known. The weapon used for the crime was found at the scene of the incident and has been sent for forensic check; also finger prints have been taken from the scene of the murder, and a confirmation that the scene of the murder has been sealed and is not contaminated. This was confirmed by the investigating Officer Warrant Officer Westaff in a telephone conversation with Mr A.K Balogun Consul in-Charge of Consular Matters Nigeria High Commission Pretoria and Barrister Omorege Ogboro an attorney invited by the Nigerian High Commission Pretoria during a meeting on Wednesday 28th May 2014. Also present at the meeting were Mr. Michael Evah, Mr. Ekos Akpokabayen the advisory Board Member Nigeria Union South Africa who is also a guardian to the deceased, Mr. Ikechukwu Anyene, President Nigeria Union South Africa, Mr. Raman Abubakar, President Niger Delta Association South Africa and Vice President Nigeria Union South Africa and Mr. Olaniyi Abodedele Publisher/CEO the Nigerian Voice Newspaper South Africa.
During the meeting, Mr. A. K Balogun, the Consul Officer in-charge of Consular Matters warned that “the issue will not be allowed to die like that” He was worried that a lot of cases like this have gone unattended in the past. He insisted that “this one won’t go that way”. Mr. Balogun stated that the case is very important to the High Commission for two reasons. “First, I want to do it so that the life of genuine Nigerians here especially in that school and other schools will be protected because if we allow it to go in this manner we can’t tell what will happen next. Secondly, the life of those Nigerians that came up to say something against him needs to be protected, if we allow the case die like that how are you sure something may not happen to any of them tomorrow”?
Already there are doubts from the Nigerian Community as to why bail was granted to the suspect who is a Zimbabwean citizen. The pertinent questions that need answers are: Was the status of the accused person verified since he is a Zimbabwean citizen? Was a proper address confirmation done, and finally was the criminal profiling of the accused person done?
The Nigerian Voice Newspaper made efforts to get answers to some of these questions by calling the Investigating officer Warrant Officer, Westaff. However, the Officer responded that he can not make any comment on the case and directed us to call Warrant Officer Steyn who is the Media person of the station. All effort to get W/O Steyn has not been successful as we have been told that she has put in for a sick leave and would return to the office on Monday 2nd of June 2014.
The newspaper also spoke to Mr. Mike Khuboni the Communications Executive Director of Vaal University of Technology to hear the University’s position on the case, particularly the granting of bail to the murder accused, and the steps the University is taking to see that justice is done and that the alleged is brought to book. Mr. Khuboni confirmed the incident. He promised that everything will be done to see that the case is followed to the last.
“Yes, you are quite correct, it has been confirmed yesterday because we heard from the Investigating officer who informed us that the suspect has been released on bail and to report to the police station at least once a week. He continued “what we have done is that we are also using our investigational internal process that is the investigating officers from our side to garner or to support students who have information to come forth so that we can take those information to the investigating officer. So, at the moment we are in that process to encourage students who have seen something or heard something on that particular day to come forward and actually write statements, we will then take those statements and forward it to the investigating officer to speed up the process”, the University Communication Executive explained.
The Nigerian Voice Newspaper spoke to some Nigerian community leaders with regards to the murder incident. On the 28th of June 2014, Mr. Ikechukwu Anyene the President Nigeria Union South Africa reacting to the murder case said that “the matter will not be swept under the carpet, we are giving support to the family of the deceased in fact the senior brother to the deceased is a leader in Nigeria Union, he was former Vice-President of Nigeria Union Gauteng and now he is still a leader in Nigeria Union. Apart from that the girl being a Nigerian and an exceptional student that graduated as a top student at the age of 20 years. We are all out, as you can see the embassy has mobilized, the lawyer is dedicated and we will make sure that justice is done that the case is not swept under the carpet. That’s what we can do for now following up the case, we assure the Nigerian community, the family and Nigerian students also because they were very disturbed, but we will do everything legally within our power to make sure that justice is done in this matter”.
Also, speaking on the matter, Mr. Raman Abubakar the President of Niger Delta Association in South Africa and the Vice President Nigeria Union South Africa, stated that the matter will not be allowed to rest until justice is served. “As the President of Niger Delta in South Africa, I am very saddened, and particularly all Niger Delta people are very saddened about the development and we call on the authority to expedite action and make sure every possible thing is done to bring the perpetrator to book. We don’t want a situation that they will treat it as the usual Nigerian case as they always do, this is a special case and the person involved is a special person very dear to us. Imagine a 20 year old virgin girl, a graduate, it’s unacceptable to us and we Niger Deltans are saying if the government does not do what they are suppose to do, we will tell them we are militants. We don’t want to go to that level now because our Embassy, our consulate, Nigeria Union, Niger Delta Association and the media are all involved. So we are going to follow it step by step to make sure justice takes it cause”.
Mr. Ekos Akpokabayen a guardian to the deceased was very saddened and disappointed. “First of all I am very disappointed, I was the guardian of the deceased and since I heard about the issue I have been proactive, and I have summarized it into two points. One: Is for the support of the girl to make sure she is buried and her legacy leaves a positive mark in the University in this country. The other one is to make sure justice is done and the culprit is brought to book. So far I believe in the justice system though I have seen a few discrepancies and we have acted on them, and we are calling on the authorities to make sure the case is handled properly. We will not rest and we will go to every length to make sure that justice is done”.
The Nigerian Voice Newspaper is following the developments in the murder case with keen interest, as well as more information on the case, and the next court hearing.
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