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Guilty as charged, South African court finds police guilty of killing a Nigerian

A South African police officers  has been found guilty of the murder of a Nigerian identified as Ebuka Okoli  in Kwa Zulu Natal in 2018.

The officer identified as Austin Luciano Reynold (24), was said to have shot Ebuka at close range during an unauthorised raid on the community where he resides.

The deceased was said to have been handcuffed, robbed by the police officer who was off duty at the time of the raid.

During the trial on Friday, Shyam Gyanda, the presiding judge, found the officer guilty on all four charges preferred against him — one charge of murder and three charges of robbery.

Meanwhile, Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA) has extolled the judgment of Judge Shyam Gyanda of a South African court on the brutal murder of the late Ebuka Okoli in that country’s Durban, Kwazulu Natal Province.

The President of the union, Mr Adetola Olubajo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) from Johannesburg on telephone after the judgment on Friday that the accused was found guilty on all four charges.

Olubajo said that Austin Luciano Reynolds, a 24-year-old South African Police Constable, was charged with one count of murder and three charges of robbery.

He said the court found him guilty after his accomplice during an illegal raid turned state witness.

“Ebuka, a native of Anambra State was shot by a young police constable in Durban on Jan. 19, 2018.

“Ebuka was shot at close range during an illegal raid by the police officer, Reynolds, and his colleague on the community where he resides in Durban.

“He was robbed, tortured, handcuffed, and later shot at close range by the officer who was off duty at the time of the raid.

“We have been monitoring the case since the inception and very grateful for the role played by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), because without them, this case would have been one of the numerous unresolved murder cases of Nigerians in South Africa,’’ Olubajo said.

He added that the jail term would be announced next year.

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