Nigerian Man Beaten to Death in Italy in Broad Daylight

People have taken to the streets to express their fury after the killing of Alika Ogorchukwu, whose death was filmed by bystanders who did not intervene.
Dipo Faloyin
London, GB
A man shows a picture of Alika Ogorchukwu, in Civitanova Marche
A man shows a picture of Alika Ogorchukwu, in Civitanova Marche.AP Photo/Chiara Gabrielli)

A disabled Nigerian migrant was beaten to death over the weekend in Italy, sparking widespread outrage and debate over the country’s often poor treatment of vulnerable minorities. 

Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, a street trader, was attacked in the centre of Civitanova Marche, a commune on the eastern coast. 

Video footage of the incident shows a white man pinning Ogorchukwu, a father of two, to the ground as he assaulted him. At one point, the assailant uses Ogorchukwu’s own crutch to beat him. Some local reports have suggested that the attack started after Ogorchukwu called his attacker’s girlfriend “beautiful” in order to encourage a sale. 

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The footage was recorded by bystanders who seemingly refused to intervene, adding to the anger and disbelief over the incident.

Filippo Ferlazzo, 32, has been arrested on suspicion of murder. 

On Saturday, hundreds of people took to the streets of Civitanova Marche to demand justice and a change in Italy's attitudes toward minorities and migrants. People have also laid flowers at the site. 

Among the demonstrators was Ogorchukwu’s wife, Charity Oriachi, who asked for the rest of the country to stand with her family as they seek justice for her husband’s murder. “All I want is justice for my husband,” Oriachi said. “I want the person [who killed him] to pay dearly for it. 

The attack comes just weeks before the Italian government is set to hold a snap election, with polls suggesting a far-right coalition will likely form the next government. Immigration has become a hugely divisive and prominent topic in Italy in recent years.   

Enrico Letta, the leader of the liberal Democratic Party, has responded to the attack by tweeting that there “can be no justifications” for Ogorchukwu’s murder. 

“The murder of #AlikaOgorchukwu leaves us dismayed,” Letta wrote on Twitter. “The unprecedented ferocity. Widespread indifference. There can be no justifications. Nor is silence enough. The ultimate outrage to #Alika would be to move on and forget.”