Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU at the Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Ekpoma, Edo State, yesterday challenged the police to produce bodies of the 16 students reportedly beheaded. The union also rapped the Commissioner of Police, Haliru Gwandu, for linking some lecturers in the institution to cultism.
The AAU ASUU Chairman, Mr. Monday Igbafen, told journalists at a conference Gwandu was out to justify the brutalisation of Dean of Faculty of Law, Prof Sunday Edeko. Igbafen accused the police of forcing Edeko to write a statement and an apology letter as against his wish and will.
The ASUU chairman knocked the police boss for allegedly transferring the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Ojo, who led the anti-cultism team on the contentious cult war within the university community. He also challenged the police to disclose the true identities of the alleged lecturers the command claimed to have been arrested.
Igbafen also demanded that Gwandu should, as a matter of necessity, state where the bodies or human skulls allegedly recovered and to state if they were students or indigenes of Ekpoma town. Gwandu had during a briefing on Tuesday disclosed that some lecturers were arrested for cultism while firearms were recovered from them.
He also said the remains of the 16 beheaded students were found at a site in Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Area.
But Igbafen said it was unprofessional for the police to allege that some lecturers of the institution were arrested with cache of arms without bringing them to the knowledge of the management for appropriate redress.
“Rather than do the needful by applying diplomacy and calling a peace meeting of stakeholders in the university and the police to address the problem at hand, the commissioner decided to toe the path of lies, dishonour and blackmail, claiming that his men have arrested some lecturers and professor of our university,” he said.
Igbafen added that the only case of investigation brought to the knowledge of ASUU was that of a lecturer arrested with firearms in February but was released after presenting the licence for the firearms even when he was a member of a vigilance group in Ekpoma town.
While noting that there were no report against the university about the said lecturer nor was he paraded, pointing out that he did not also appear in court.
The ASUU chairman therefore called on the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 5, Abubarka Muhammad, and the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, to transfer Gwandu and conduct proper investigation into the case at hand in order to unravel the misconceptions allegedly fed to the public by the state police command.
“We make bold to say that Commissioner Gwandu can’t hide under his unfounded tale. He must produce ASP Ojo and his men in public and offer a convincing narrative to justify their ruthless presence and operations in Ekpoma.”