The trial of eight South African Police officers charged with the torture and murder of Nigerian National, Ibrahim Olamilekan Badmus, started on Friday at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa.
The cops – two women and six men – were arrested in October 2017 by police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, for the torture and the murder of 25-year-old Badmus who was accused of selling drugs in the Vanderbijlpark area.
The court was told that on a fateful day – October 10, 2017 – police officers pounced on the community where the deceased used to stay following a tip-off about drugs being sold in the house.
In their affidavits, the eight cops claimed that while conducting their operation they found Badmus unresponsive from a drug overdose. But state witness, Chukwuemeka Nelson Ozor, who was in the house on the day of the incident, disputed the story.
Ozor told Judge Mokhine Mosopa that the police broke into the house, started searching and questioning everyone, then moved to search Badmus’s room and beat him up.
Ozor added that one of the police officials then fetched a plastic bag that was then wrapped around the deceased’s head, suffocating him to death.
A paramedic that attended to the scene John Gous told the court that when medical officials arrived, the 25-year-old was unresponsive and sweaty with no pulse but there were no signs of physical injuries. He was declared dead on the scene.
The Chairperson of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, told Channels TV that she’s happy with the progress being made with the case and hopes justice will be done.