Nigerian dies during police raid

2011-01-24 16:23

Johannesburg - A Nigerian man died during questioning by police during a weekend drug raid in Johannesburg, an SA police spokesperson said on Monday.

The property reportedly belongs to the wife of Henry Okah, who is in custody for alleged involvement in a bombing in Nigeria last year.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Lorraine van Emmerik said she could not confirm who owned the property, but could say that police raided it on Saturday.

"It was a drug raid. Crime Intelligence got information and went to the premises. They searched and found an unlicensed firearm, drugs and ammunition," said Van Emmerik.

A suspect ran away and was caught and taken back to the premises.

"During questioning he had a shortage of breath and he died," she said.

She could not confirm a report by Associated Press that the property was owned by Azuka Okah, Henry Okah's wife.

AP reported that Mrs Okah said witnesses told her police searched one apartment on Saturday and handcuffed tenant Joseph Uzo, allegedly beat him with metal pots and pans and dunked his head in water.

Police brought Uzo to a second apartment, allegedly smothering him with a plastic bag and assaulting the girlfriend of the second tenant, she said, according to the report.

"We can't confirm that. That is why the [Independent Complaints Directorate] is investigating," said Van Emmerik.

She said the man had been identified as coming from Lagos.

ICD spokesperson Tiyani Sambo confirmed that they were investigating and that a post mortem was being conducted.

"The person who died was not shot by the police so we are investigating the circumstances around his death," said Sambo.

The results of a post mortem could be available later on Monday, he said.
They were still collecting witness statements and were in the primary stages of the investigation.

The ICD investigates complaints against the police, and deaths during police operations.

Okah was denied bail in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court late last year.
He faces charges of terrorism, relating to the October 1 twin car bombing in Abuja, Nigeria which killed 12 people and injured 36.

  • Mmakadikwe1 - 2011-01-24 16:34

    Amazing how people who deal in drugs happen to enjoy life in our country,and on top of that destroy the future of this country by selling those illegal substances to our kids.One drug dealer down.......and more to go please SAPS!

  • Chantal - 2011-01-24 16:56

    it is more amazing how our goverment let these people to come and stay in our country they don't have money or education, only experts in crime and full of arrogants maybe they are frinds of me c twele our minister of intel.

  • ji - 2011-01-24 17:05


  • annie.kalahari - 2011-01-24 17:36

    The SAPS seems to have become a force increasingly made up of death-squads instead of proud officers who carry out their oaths to protect the innocent citizens from criminals...So what has happened to that 'swift investigation into the deaths of 566 people at the hands of police in 2010?" (Sowetan, 23 Nov 2010, "Parties urge probe into 566 deaths'... People 'committing suicide' and people who 'suddenly stopped breathing' ... will we ever know the truth?

  • gemini76 - 2011-01-24 17:49

    Good ridden to bad rubbish.....GO SAP GO!!!! Now start with Hilbrow and Sunnyside. Get these bastards out of our country.

  • SEMATSATSA - 2011-01-24 18:22

    It's more amazing when freedom front says nothing.

      kleindeef - 2011-01-24 18:40

      What Sem would you possibly have them say? Please, enlighten us. Why in heavens' name would they have to say something? Its' sort of like asking a gay movement commenting on Hustler magazine or the PAC commenting on the plight of poor white people.

      Howzitekse - 2011-01-24 23:14

      They don't understand about principles, only colour coding. Bit slow.

  • vnwaneri - 2011-01-24 19:16

    What a sad trail of comments i read here, well it is actually no fault of the writers. Unfortunately there are quite a few Nigerians involved in disgraceful acts and they have succeeded in tarnishing the reputation of everyone who is a Nigerian. While it is true that a lot are badly behaved there are actually those who have integrity and are conducting an honest and legitimate life. Care should be taken so as not to purnish innocent people for the crimes of a few bad eggs.

  • saskloppers - 2011-01-24 19:20

    Finally. Police doing something right. Now for the other 9 999 999 Nigerians....

  • Thabani - 2011-01-24 22:39

    We South Africans are obsessed about foreigners. The problem is that in our country, the crime rate is too high. Therefore, these foreign criminals take advantage of our weak judiciary system. Driving out foreigners is not equal to crime free SA. Lets first get rid of our own criminals from our homes, then we can drive out foreigners. Don't just hate foreigners for everything yet our hands are dirty. Look at our prisons, 99.999% are locals, meaning we the the factory of crime. In any case, most criminals from other countries know that they cannot engage in criminal activities in their own countries. Here we breed them. The truth hates. As far as i don't trust foreigners, i also don't trust my fellow South African.

  • raymond - 2011-01-25 00:38

    It should be free for all to kill any drug dealer. They are killing our kids. Yes, our kids are not innocent but wipe out the dealars and we might start winning the war against drugs. Take away the sex dealers too.

      Android - 2011-01-25 08:39

      I agree, because that's much easier than teaching our kids values. Let's just kill everyone who might challenge the morals we teach them.

  • steven.m.armour - 2011-01-25 06:36

    Send the dealers back to where they come from.Better still let them overdose on their own goods.

  • WPWW - 2011-01-25 07:26

    As much as i hate the nigerian scum, imagine you are joe blog(wana) living peacfully in your flat and all of a sudden a pitch black ugly nigerian moves in next door, 2 weeks later the cops are plastic bagging your girlfriend and you to tell them where you hide the stash for the kwerakwera, now what do you say after that, go cops, or one cop one bullet?

  • Greg - 2011-01-25 07:34

    These comments are sad, but unfortunately true. The majority of the Nigerians living in SA it appears, are involved in the drug trade. I lived across the road from a Nigerian woman, whose house was constantly visited by guys (and some girls) in really expensive cars. She was home all day, and out at night. We were all quite sure that drugs were being sold from the premises. Calls to the cops were answered on two occasions, and they arrived, went inside, came out around 30 minutes later, laughing as she walked them to their vehicles, leaning in and kissing the one guy goodbye! She owns three properties in the area. One of her Utility bills for the property next door was in excess of R120k, yet power nor water was cut. Eventually Citi Power did, but by that evening the tenants were reconnected. One of her contacts arrived and changed cabling in the box, in full view of the other residents. A few days later the cops arrived and wanted to arrest the tenant. Long story short, she then put in a pre-paid meter. I guess we can't paint all with the same brush, but just like at some Pub in Malanshof area, where the police raid the place and catch drug dealers (all Nigerian), the majority of the cases of drug dealers being caught are from Nigeria. Get them the hell out of SA man.

      Perfume - 2011-01-25 08:21

      To cut a long story short...they need to get out of our country, they are illegal...Durban has become a haven for these criminals as well!!!!!!!

      Sailor - 2011-01-25 08:30

      It is sad that we see ourselves as pure and crime free and lash out on the foreigners (especially Nigerians) for anything that goes wrong in our country. Statistics show that 99.9% of the criminals including drug lords are locals. Nigerians (and few of them at that) just happen to take advantage of the crime heaven that is our country and exploit that - it does not mean that without Nigerians, you will have fewer drugs. Additionally, lets not be narrow minded and forget that Nigeria is where most of the SA companies are investing - MTN, Didata, Datatec, Telkom etc. But seeing that we are experts at it, we can always cut our nose, spite our faces, complain and blame the foreigners about it and toyi toyi for handouts.

  • Android - 2011-01-25 08:41

    One question... When do you or I run out of breath at the hands of a corrupt cop?

  • Parko - 2011-01-25 08:43

    When a Nigerian dies nobody cries .... you won't get sympathy from us here. They are the most hated people in South Africa ( for good reason ) and actually if you look at what they do to us they actually are the enemies of the South African people. - 2011-01-25 13:34

      Hey Parko, you hit the nail on the head........Drugs + crime = Nigerians

  • Black.dude - 2011-01-25 08:47

    Most Nigerians specialises in drug dealing, and guess who are the customers, mostly its rich white people. Drugs are very expensive and rich white people should stop their habit of feeding these Nigerians drug lords. No demand no supply. - 2011-01-25 13:41

      Hey Black Dude, catch a wake up there are many rich black Dudes in South they do nor does the rich white Dudes.....its weak desparate people (black and white) that do drugs......or are you saying black people are perfect.........please explain.....regards poor white with no money for drugs......Chop

  • daboss247365 - 2011-01-25 09:16

    good riddens to BAD RUBBISH!!! Now if we could only have a national SHOOT A NIGERIAN DAY. probably one of the few things that would get the entire nation to participate, these savages are nothing but manipulative scum. their lives worth less than that of a stray dog to any South African who has ever dealt with one. They destroy everything & con everyone, they have no loyalty. they are sub human & should be deatl with the same way as any other parasitical infestation - poisoned & destroyed. WEELL DONE SAPS!!! Hope you kicked the body around a bit for the pleasure.

      Parko - 2011-01-25 16:19

      Yes. If we had SHOOT A NIGERIAN DAY , within 3 months see the drop in Crime. Then all South Africans black and white would be better off.

  • Melly30 - 2011-01-25 14:35

    Glad he is dead... No get the rest of the drug pigs out of here!!!

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