In Italy, Filippo Ferlazzo, a 33-year-old Italian, has been handed a 24-year prison sentence for the brutal killing of a Nigerian man, Alika Ogorchukwu.
The court of Assizes of Macerata delivered the verdict on September 27, 2023, finding Ferlazzo, a resident of Salerno near Naples, guilty of the aggravated voluntary murder of the 39-year-old Nigerian street hawker, who had a physical disability.
The tragic incident took place on July 29, 2022, in Civitanova Marche, located in the Province of Macerata, March Region of Italy.
Ogorchukwu was violently assaulted while he was engaged in street hawking during broad daylight. Shockingly, Ferlazzo used the crutches that the deceased used for mobility to fatally beat him and proceeded to straddle him, crushing his neck and head.
This horrifying act unfolded in front of several onlookers who, unfortunately, did not intervene to stop the brutal assault. Some of these onlookers recorded videos of the attack using their mobile phones. Following the incident, Filippo Ferlazzo was arrested on murder charges on July 30, 2022.
Italian authorities indicated that they believed Ferlazzo attacked Ogorchukwu after an altercation that occurred when the victim asked Ferlazzo’s girlfriend to purchase a handkerchief.
The gruesome incident triggered two protest marches in a town on Italy’s Adriatic coast shortly afterward, with demonstrators demanding justice for the deceased Nigerian, whose death garnered international attention.
In response to the verdict, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), expressed satisfaction.
She emphasized the importance of consequences for actions and praised the Nigerian Mission in Rome for their diligence in pursuing justice in this case and others involving Nigerians.
Dabiri-Erewa encouraged Nigerians in the Diaspora to uphold the law, excel in their endeavors, and maintain a connection with their homeland by giving back to their country.