Italy: Nigerian street vendor killed in broad daylight, sparking national outrage

Italy: Nigerian street vendor killed in broad daylight, sparking national outrage

Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, was chased, hit with his own crutch and then beaten “to death with his bare hands” while he was on the ground by the assailant, who also stole his cellphone, Macerata police said.

Video footage of the attack, which took place in the eastern coastal city of Civitanova Marche, was captured by a bystander, but no one was seen physically intervening in any part of the clip.

A woman can be heard shouting “stop, stop immediately” in the video, and a man shouts: “You’re killing him”. The footage was published by Italian media after being shared online.

The incident took place at 2pm on Friday in the main street of Civitanova Marche, Luconi said. Ogorchukwu was found dead at the scene by paramedics, the police statement on Sunday added.

Macerata police officer Matteo Luconi told CNN on Monday that the killing was “not racially motivated”, and a police statement on Sunday said it was likely due to “petty reasons”.

A 32-year-old Italian citizen, Filippo Ferlazzo, has been arrested for murder and robbery, the police said. One of Ferlazzo’s lawyers, Federica Trifoglio, told CNN on Monday that his client has psychiatric problems and that they intend to submit a psychiatric report.

The Nigerian embassy in Rome condemned the killing, saying “the incident happened on a busy street and in front of shocked onlookers, some of whom made videos of the attack, with little or no attempt to prevent it.”

The embassy said it is working with Italian authorities to ensure justice and to provide assistance to the victim’s family.

Ogorchukwu’s wife, Charity Oriachi, told journalists on Friday that she wanted justice for her husband. “Italy, don’t leave me alone,” she said.

She told reporters that when she last saw her husband on Friday morning, “I gave him a croissant, I told him ‘eat this’. I gave him the croissant and I haven’t seen him since. Then a lot of people came to call me : “Your man, come!” I needed someone with the car, and when I arrived at Civitanova I saw him lying in the street.”

Francesco Mantella, the lawyer representing Ogorchukwu’s wife, Charity, told CNN that Ogorchukwu had been in Italy for about nine years on a regular residence permit, working as a street vendor.

Ogochukwu was left with a limp after he was run over by a car last year while on his bicycle. He used a crutch to help him get around, Mantella said.

He sold trinkets, lighters and tissue paper, the lawyer said. He commuted every day from his home, in the small village of San Severino Marche, to the larger city of Civitanova Marche, hoping to do better business.

The mayor of Civitanova Marche has announced that the cost of Ogorchukwu’s funeral will be paid by the municipality, Mantella said, and a fundraising campaign has been launched to help his widow and their 8-year-old son.

The murder has shaken the country, where right-wing factions may gain increased support in the upcoming election.

Four years ago, a man draped in an Italian flag shot dead six African immigrants in a racially motivated attack in Macerata, less than 20 miles from where Ogorchukwu was killed.

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