Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF) and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, yesterday, petitioned the Nigerian and South African governments over the killing of Mr Benjamin Simeon in South Africa last Saturday.
Simeon, a native of Okposi in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state, was reportedly shot dead by gunmen at Verona Street in Johannesburg, South Africa.
On June 13, the Deputy Director-General of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Mrs. Elizabeth Ndubuisi-Chukwu, was killed in a hotel in South Africa, while attending a conference organized by the African Insurance Organisation.
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State had petitioned relevant offices, demanding thorough investigations into the killing of the lady, who hails from his state. He also demanded that justice must be served, as her killers must not go unpunished.
In a statement signed by Umahi’s chief press secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, the governor expressed great sadness over the gruesome murder of the Nigerian citizen, who was going about his legitimate business before his assailants struck.
The statement indicated that the governor had sent a strong worded petition to the South African High Commission, requesting for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the gruesome murder of the deceased.
Umahi was also quoted to have called the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, requesting him to intervene in the matter to ensure that the South African envoy acts on the petition with a view to investigating the heinous crime, and bring the perpetrators to book.
Until his demise, Simeon was a taxi driver. He was said to have dropped off his passengers shortly before he was shot dead.
Umahi said that the murder of the 43-year-old man had thrown the state into mourning and pleaded that he must not die in vain.
“Unraveling the circumstances surrounding this heinous murder of Simeon presents to the fore, the need for the South African government to undertake requisite thoroughness and transparency to ensure that justice is served to the Nigerian government, Ebonyi State and the family of the deceased.
“The loss of a highly talented and law abiding citizen of Nigeria, who was going about his legitimate business in South Africa aptly challenges us all to call on the reserves of our cherished African brotherhood.
“In the face of the foregoing, the least that can be done for him and his family now is to prove that he did not die in vain by vigorously probing his murder and ensuring that the killers face justice,” the statement added.