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Friday, 6 September 2019

South Africa blames drug dealers for xenophobic attacks, 83 protesters arraigned

The Lagos State Police Command on Thursday arraigned 83 persons who allegedly participated in the attack and looting of South African-owned mall, Shoprite, in protest against continued xenophobic attacks and killings of Nigerians in South Africa.

This is just as the South Africa’s Minister of International Relation and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, blamed drug dealers for xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and pleaded with the  Federal Government of Nigeria to assist her country by preventing Nigerians dealing in narcotics from coming to South Africa.

Pandor, who spoke with an interview with an online news platform, enca.com, on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum on Africa on Thursday,  said there was a widely held belief that many Nigerians in South Africa dealt in drugs, adding that the Federal Government should help to address this issue.

While she was speaking in South Africa, the 83 suspected looters were being arraigned before the Lagos State Magistrates’ Court at Yaba on six counts bordering on conspiracy, riotous assembly, arson, stealing, malicious damage, unlawful destruction of property and conduct likely to cause the breach of peace.

The police told the court that the defendants attacked the Shoprite Malls at Surulere and Sangotedo-Ajah areas of Lagos and allegedly stole and damaged property estimated at N500m.

The prosecution said they committed the offences on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 in contravention of sections 50, 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 and were liable to be punished under sections 339 (1) (2), 168 (d) and 411 of the same Act.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty.

The magistrate, Mr P.A. Ojo, admitted each of the 83 defendants to bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.

The magistrate said the sureties must be the defendants’ parents or a paternal family member.

The case was adjourned till October 9, 2019.(Punch)

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