Nigeria: Wife calls for justice after Italy street killing of vendor

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The wife of a Nigerian street vendor called for justice on Sunday after the killing of her husband in Italy, which was filmed by onlookers and has sparked national condemnation.

Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, was selling goods Friday on the main street of Civitanova Marche, a beach town on the Adriatic Sea, when his attacker grabbed the vendor’s crutch and struck him down, according to police.

“The attacker chased the victim and first hit him with a crutch, then knocked him to the ground and then finished him off, killing him by repeatedly striking him with his bare hands.”

An autopsy later in the week will help determine if Ogorchukwu succumbed to the beating or was strangled as he lay with his back on the ground. Police used street cameras to track the assailant’s movements and detained a man identified as Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Ferlazzo, 32.

He was being held on suspicion of murder and theft for allegedly taking the victim’s phone. Luconi said the assailant lashed out after the vendor made “insistent” requests for pocket change. Police were questioning witnesses and viewing videos of the attack.

Ogorchukwu, who was married with two children, resorted to selling goods on the street after he was struck by a car and lost his job as a laborer due to his injuries, said Daniel Amanza, who runs the ACSIM association for immigrants in the Marche region’s Macerata province. Hundreds of people from the Nigerian community and Italians, including Orgorchukwu’s wife, Charity Oriachi, protested in Civitanova Marche on Saturday.

Francesco Mantella, a lawyer who helps Nigerians in the country in different cases, said: “This is horrible. No one is helping to stop this murderous rage against him. This shameful indifference must be investigated. It shows that there is no longer a sense of citizenship, sensitivity and solidarity.”

Reaction to the incident from politicians

Roberto Speranza, Minister of Health and member of the left-wing “Articolo 1” party, said on Twitter: “The brutal murder of Alika Ogorchukwu in the street in Civitanova Marche is shocking. Indifference to the incident is as serious and inexcusable as violence.”

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives and Democratic Party MP Laura Boldrini said: “A man was killed in Civitanova Marche with brutal violence while witnesses were filming. Racism and anger arise against the weak. The worst aspect of society; discrimination and oppression.”

Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing League Party, known for its anti-immigration theses, said: “It is madness to die in this way. I hope whoever did this will receive the highest possible punishment.”

Francesco Acquaroli, President of the Marche Regional Government from the far-right Brothers of Italy Party, expressed his condolences to Alika’s family in a statement on the incident and said, “In this matter, we will want to intervene as a civil party in the lawsuit to be opened in order to defend the identity, values and image of Marche. We have always been and want to remain an inclusive and supportive community.” Africanews