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Killing of UNIPORT Four: UNIPORT Closed, RSUST Students Spit Fire …As Okrika Youths, Public React

The people of Rivers State will for ever remember 5th of October, being Friday over the brutal murder of four University of Port Harcourt undergraduates, who were alleged to have stolen laptops and phones. This situation run to confirmed the bible injunction of second Timothy chapter 1:1-5 really man is living in the last days. Owing to this our news desk hit the road to capture the views of residents of Port Harcourt city over the killing of Uniport four as the incident has generated enough dust..
First to respond in Ogbunabali is a sports administrator, the chairman of Port Harcourt City local government football Association, Mr. Kingsley Woke. In his reaction, he said the killing is barbaric, inhuman and condemnable. Kingsley Woke said how could a normal human being take another person’s life in such a manner. They could have come together and rescued the four murdered innocent students from the killers if they were not involved in the killing.
Infact they are part and parcel of the murder and should not be allowed to go scot-free. The best they could have done is to call the police with the phones they used in videoing and taking pictures. In my opinion, the youths that carried out this killing have an issue with the boys since they are not from the community. The Nigeria police too did not do well, those who got the scene would have re-enforced to over power the killers to stop the killing.
Taking laws into their hands is the worst action they have done, the best they could have done is to take the boys to the police if at all they stole the items they alleged. Jungle justice is not the best the police should have human face and investigate properly and take the right action to bring the perpetrators of the killing to face the law of the country.
A lady who refused to have her name in print, acted this way, “if the killed four students really stole the items they are accused of where their phones, clothes as at the time they killed them? In short who is the real thief? It is bad. There is more to the killing than mere stealing story presented to the public to cover their crime. They have committed crime against God and humanity and the law of retribution will visit them. It is really bad; the police should dive into the matter with clear eyes to erase the fear of the rest of the public.
While this interview was going on students of Uniport were on rampage demanding for justice over the killing of their fellow students. The students in their numbers made the roads of Aluu-Uniport unpassable, while at Aluu community houses were burnt down. As at the time of filing in this report, the killing of the four Uniport students had attracted global condemnation as Okrika youths have threatened to revenge the killing of two of their sons.
To maintain peace and order Unipoort has been closed down as human right organizations and well meaning citizens of Nigeria are still reacting to the shocking killing of the four Uniport undergraduates.
Fellow students interviewed at Rivers State University of Science and Technology are poised to take the laws into their hands. According to them, if the police and the state government do not take the appropriate actions on the issue by bringing the culprits to face justice.
Rita Aguma, “a female level 300 student of English responsed that she was so terrified. “How can they just kill four potential future leaders in cold blooded without confirming what they accused them of?”. She prays God to fish them out so that they could see and feel what they have caused the students.
“In the past the police will only act as if they will come out with any tangible result without anything, this time around about this issue if they don’t do anything serious as to bring the culprits to book we students of Rivers State University of Science and Technology are going to take the laws into their hands.”
Another student of Rivers State University of Science and Technology in his reaction has this to say; “My name is Samuel Onyebuchi, student of Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) well, this is the saddest news I have heard in recent time. It is barbaric and condemnable. It is unbelievable that my fellow students could just be killed that way. Imagine four future leaders just condemned to death in one day. Let as assume that they are accused, why not take them to the police? In short I don’t know what to say. But if the authorities concerned do not do something serious to those involved in every happening of the society, we the students will take the laws into our hands.”
A press release made available to our corresponden, by the Rivers State police command unequivocally condemned the gruesome killing of four Uniport students on 5th October, 2012 by Mob from Aluu community. The command sympathizes with the families of the slain students and also appeal to them not to take the laws into their hands. Students of Uniport are urged not to embark in any reprisal attack as such could lead to chaos and anarchy. The command has commenced diligent investigation into the ugly incident.
Amazing success has been recorded in that regard as thirteen persons including the chief of the community suspected to have masterminded the killing.
However, the arrested suspected have been charged to court for justice. The Rivers police command appealed to residents of Port Harcourt to be calm and cooperate with the police to get the best security situation in the state, as the police command is doing everything possible to handle the situation to bring peace to bear.
As at the time of filing in this report, more reactions are trailing the killing of the four Uniport undergraduates. The Rivers State Police Public Relations Office, DSP Ben Ugwuegbulam has urged residents of the state to contact him on this line 08035524880 directly when they suspect any strange movement in their area of operation or living
The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Ben Ugwuegbulam has assured the public that no stone would be left unturned in unraveling the circumstances surrounding the killing of four students of University of Port Harcourt last week at Umuokiri Village- Aluu, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The PPRO stated this in an exclusive interview with The Newswriter in Port Harcourt Ugwuegbulam who described the act as unlawful and barbaric condemned the dastardly act totally.
He appealed to the parents of the victims not to take the laws into their hands by way of reprisal attack and urged the students to be calm even in the face of provocation.
The PPRO assured the people that the command has swung into action, resulting to the arrest of 13 persons including the paramount ruler of the community, Alhaji Hassan Walewa.
“The perpetrators of the dastardly act will face the full weight of the law,” the PPRO assured.
On the incessant robbery incidents along Choba-Aluu Road, Mr. Ugwuegbulam said efforts of the police around that area have reduced the crime rate.
He reiterated the fact that nobody has the right to mete out ‘jungle justice’ on any person no matter the offence.
When The Newswriter sampled opinion of residents in Port Harcourt on the issue, they all condemned the gruesome killing of the 4 innocent UNIPORT students.
A vox pop conducted by The Nerwswriter revealed this:
First was Mr. Job Stanley Job, the NUJ secretary in Rivers State. He did not mince words in condemning the heinous act.
Mr. Job described the act as uncivilized and barbaric and wondered why people should do such thing in this 21st century. “Gone are the days when people take the laws into their hands. If for any reason somebody is accused of any offence, the right thing is to report the matter to the law enforcement agents who are empowered by law to try the suspects, instead of indulging in jungle justice.” .
The NUJ scribe decried the attitude of the said community for ordering the lynching of the students, explaining that even the police do not have the right to execute anybody.
The Respondent was emphatic that what the community has done is highly condemnable. He called on all well-meaning Nigerians to condemn the wicked act. According to him, the arrest of the killers of the students by the police is a step in the right. Mr. Job called for their full trial to serve as a deterrent to others.
He equally appealed to the students of UNIPORT to be patient and calm, assuring that justice will be done in the matter.
Another Respondent, Mr. Tunde Uchegbuo, a civil servant said there is no justifiable reason for the community to have killed the four students.
He called for the trial and if possible hanging of the perpetrators if found guilty. According to him, nobody or group of persons have the right to take anybody’s life.
“Afterall, the law courts saddled with the responsibility of prosecuting/trying suspects are there”, he fumed.
Uchegbuo condemned the act totally and appealed to the students of UNIPORT not to take the laws into their hands in form of violence or any reprisal attacks on the community.
The slained students have been identified as Tekena Kalio, Ugonna Obuzor, Chiadikobi Biringa and Lloyd Toku Mike.
The advice was however not heeded to as The Newswriter gathered that irate UNIPORT students who were protesting the killing of their colleagues, Tuesday burnt down some houses at Umuokiri village Aluu where the 4 students were lynched.###
Mr. Precious Aku, a native of Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers said the action of the vigilante as bad and barbaric but there must be reasons that warranted the vigilantees group to take the laws into their hands instead of handling them over to the police for prosecution.
According to him, the vigilante may decide to hand them over to the police, but their parents who may be highly placed in the society would intervene and set them free and next time they would do the same thing or even commit the worst offence, hence bad things continue to exist in the society.
Mr. Aku who is also an Aluminus of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology Nkpolu, Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, blamed parents especially mothers for always supporting their children on their bad act which has portrayed the society in bad light.
He advised that parents should inculcate the habit of cautioning their children when they found them guilty of any offence as to better the society.
Elder Livinus Ejiowhor an elder statesman from Omuanwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State expressed sadness on the gruesome murder of the late four UNIPORT students. According to him, whatever they must have done, the vigilante would have handed them over to the police for prosecution if they found them guilty.
Elder Ejiowhor however advised the youths to always work in line with the Nigerian constitution, as well as urged them to always shun negative tendencies that would lead them nowhere.
Similarly, Mr. Matthew Okeke a bookseller who hails from Obowu in Imo State described the act as bad “What they did was very bad even if the late four students committed the worst sin on earth they could have handed them over to the police who would examine their matter and send them to court for prosecution if found guilty”.
Mr. Ben Owen a journalist based in Port Harcourt condemned the act by the vigilante and advised that justice should prevail on the matter.
Mr. Uke Williams the NUJ Rivers State Council security who expressed sadness over the act of the vigilante, said the state judiciary should prosecute the vigilante if found guilty of the murder.
ISE-OLUWA IGE AND CHINEDUM EMEANA Students and indigenes of Wakrike in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State yesterday protested the killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT, allegedly by Aluu vigilantes on Friday.
The students that were killed were named as Tekena, Ugonna, Chidiaka and Lloyd. They were in their 20s. Two of the late students hailed from Wakrike while Chidiaka Biringa is from Owerri in Imo State.
It was learnt that the victims were 100 and 200 level students. Two of them were studying Engineering; one was studying Theatre Arts while the course of study of the fourth student was unknown as at the time of filing this report.
Video clips of the lynching have been posted online. The gruesome clips showed the students being stripped naked, beaten and hacked with cutlasses, before being set on fire while still alive.
The protesters blocked the East-West Road and the adjoining NTA Road, leading to traffic gridlock and caused pandemonium in the community.
Many students of the university, living on and off campus, have packed their belongings and left in anticipation of more trouble.
There were different accounts of what led to the administration of the ‘jungle justice’ on the students.
The students were accused of being cultists who attacked family in Aluu raped a pregnant woman and killed the husband.
Another account said the students stole a mobile phone and a laptop from a member of the community.
Another account claimed that Ugonna, one of the victims, complained to his parents about frequent robbery incidents in his off campus accommodation and decided to put up with a friend.
He was said to have joined his friend and others to collect a debt from somebody, which led to an argument. They started beating up the debtor but the Aluu people intervened, resulting in the lynching of the four students.
Yet another account said the vigilance group caught the students with dangerous weapons, including knives and axes and had claimed that the victims had acted suspiciously.
The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ben Ugbuegbulam, said that the police had arrested 13 of those suspected to be involved in the lynching of the students.
Ugbuegbulam promised that the police would ensure that all those involved in the lynching were apprehended.
He regretted that law enforcement agents were not alerted in time, otherwise they would have been able to save the victims from the mob.
The PPRO said the command got the information about 8a.m. on Friday but before policemen and men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, got to the scene, the victims had been burnt with tyres ringed around their necks.
The police statement reads: “The Rivers State Police Command unequivocally condemns the gruesome killing of four UNIPORT students on Friday by an irate mob from Aluu community.
“The command sympathises with the families of the slain students and also appeals to them not to take the laws into their hands.
“Students of UNIPORT are urged not to engage in any reprisal attack as such could lead to chaos and anarchy.
“The command has commenced diligent investigation into the ugly incident and an amazing success has been recorded in that regard, as 13 persons, including the chief of the community suspected to have been involved in the reprehensible and barbaric act have been arrested, based on credible intelligence and video clips of the killings.
“The suspects are being interrogated by crack detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Division, SCID.
“The Rivers police command is unwaveringly committed to protecting life and property of people of Rivers State and will not rest on its oars until the perpetrators of the horrendous act are not only arrested, but also brought to justice.”
The Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, IHRHL, has condemned the jungle justice meted out to the students.
Meanwhile, Governor Chibuike Amaechi has ordered an immediate investigation into the killings.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, in a statement after yesterday’s emergency meeting said: “Governor Amaechi has ordered an immediate investigation into the killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt. Already, investigation has commenced and all those involved in the killings would be brought to book.”
UNIPORT Deputy Registrar, Information, said: “Right now, I am not in a position to confirm to you that the alleged victims are bona fide students of UNIPORT as is being widely speculated.
“The alleged incident took place at Aluu village about two kilometres outside our main campus.
“We do not have responsibility for security in Aluu communities which are beyond our jurisdiction. The relevant security outfits are working with our security dept to establish the true identities of the victims and what actually transpired on the day of the reported incident.
“The Dean of Student Affairs is also working round the clock to establish their identities as students of Uniport. The University will certainly issue a statement once preliminary facts are laid on the table.”
Meanwhile, former Vice- President (Africa) for World Bank, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, has advised the Federal Government to take issue of security of lives and property in the country serious, warning that the recent killings of students in Mubi and Port Harcourt could trigger a serious crisis.
Ezekwesili, who expressed shock over the separate incidents said she was devastated that some students of UNIPORT were burnt and the killings videotaped in Port Harcourt.
She expressed her shock during an interview with newsmen
Her words: “I am shaken; I am outraged, I am devastated, I feel mortally wounded.
“The situations in Mubi and Port Harcourt were terrible. Did you see the video-recording of how students were killed in Port Harcourt? Is this not the same country where it is emotionally difficult when you see a corpse on the street?
“I am sorry. I am totally outraged like any decent citizen of a nation that we love. The killings were barbaric, mere savagery and very devastating. Some people are acting or behaving as if there are no people in charge of the government.
“Something is fundamentally wrong with our society: To see the dastardly mob killing of four misguided youths (Port Harcourt’s) who stole, sank my optimism.
“Noo! Even in death, these four must get justice. My voice shall be heard on this.
“What have we become? We used to be better than this.
“What has psychologically traumatized our people? There is a fundamental problem; there is a breakdown in something that is proudly Nigeria. I cannot believe that our society has got to this level. We are broken, we need to be mended and nobody will mend it other than ourselves
“We are getting to the precipice and we need to pull ourselves back.
“The government has to take full responsibility; it has to be in charge to prevent anarchy. The only way out is for the government to prove that it is really in charge.
“We are a nation of 150 million people; we are not a small country. If the situation continues like this, we cannot survive a large-scale conflict. It does not do us good to befell into a nation of conflagration.
“We have to watch it. A lot of countries that have had genocidal experience started like this.
“We have too many problems to descend into a state of anarchy again. How can we all sit and watch impunity,” she added.
In an interview conducted by Rhythmn 91.7, friends of the slain four absolved them of guilt.
Hear them:
First of all, Lloyd Ugonna and Tekena were people I had personal dealings with. In fact the truth is Tekena was not feeling as fine that week. Lloyed and Ugonna as far as I am concerned, were nothing close to being cultists or criminals. They were very, very wonderful people. They had so much respect for themselves, their families and the school. They were people that had a clear vision as to what they want.
If you check through their facebook page, you will realize that these boys had nothing close to that. It is cruel, it is wicked. Tipsy, as Tekena was fondly called and Big L as Lloyd was also fondly called were not cultists. It is wicked to make such allegations to them.
What did you hear?
Someone called me and told me your artist Lloyd is dead, that the Aluu community boys have killed your artist. At first I really wished it was not true shot, because, it was too horrific to even imagine such.
I heard they were caught stealing and I asked them, did they find who was the accuser who said he or she was robbed by them? Where are the weapons? Let’s see the weapons. Where are the prints on those weapons?
Let’s even ask this pertinent question, Where is Ugonna’s Phone? Where is Lloyd’s phone? Where is Tekena’s phone? Where are their clothes? Where are their shoes?
Another friend, crying, said:
Actually right now I am short of words, because they were supposed to be in my rehearsals. I stumbled through the pictures a day after the rehearsals. So I heard about it and … I saw the pictures and it was not funny. I lack of words…… Those moments I saw the clips ………. I saw cannibalism. I don’t even wish my enemies to go through that torture.
Michael: – I can authoritatively tell you that one, the university community, the authorities are doing little or nothing to make the students and the host communities live in peace. I say that because we all agree that the university retained the right to give accommodation within the campus. So it means that if you are admitting people, you admit more than you can house, it means that you are telling them, okay go to stay here and there. The least that the university can do is to ensure that there is …….. synergy between the host community and the university, they should have a proper liason whereby if there are issues within University, we have several cases of them in choba, I even hear that these community people even rape, insult students….
It is not mob action because these boys were taken to somebody who ordered their killings, when they are caught, in quote. They said it was a mob action, but the mob was sane enough to take them somewhere to clarify what should be done to them. So it is not mob action. It was clear intent to kill. ####

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