The police and the management of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, have disagreed over the alleged beheading of 14 students.
Haliru Gwandu, police commissioner of the state, had informed journalists that 61 suspects were arrested in the rival cult war involving high-profile kingpins including senior lecturers of the university.
“The university community made a call that cult groups were killing and they killed so many. At a point two were killed. At a point, the police went to inspect a site and discovered more than 14 beheaded students,” he said.
“There were some senior lecturers who were arrested with firearms. We are going to arrest those who have been mentioned and those who are real cultists and charge them to court. My anti-cultism unit was there on a distress call on March 17, 2017.
“There was a notorious fight between a cult groups and incidentally, two students were beheaded. We dispatched anti-cultism unit to assist the division. Having gone there, we were given an intelligent report that one of those who were arrested initially and taken to prison was sighted around the school.
“The anti-cultism unit went into action; the name of the person they sighted was Dennis Agidi. Some of his mates were in prison but he was sighted outside and he was seen in a meeting with other cult members.”
He said senior lecturers of the university found to be aiding and abetting cult activities would not go free.
But Edward Aihevba, deputy registrar of the university, described the statement credited to the commissioner of police “as totally false and embarrassing”.
Aihevba said management of the institution “is horrified by the false news story, making the rounds in the print, electronic and social media, credited to the Edo state commissioner of police, that three lecturers of the university have been arrested for alleged cult-related activities”.
“We hereby state unequivocally that Ambrose Alli university has had no issue of cult-related activities since the inception of the administration of Ignatius Onimawo and his management team.
“There has been no report from the police force or any individual or groups for that matter concerning any incident of cultism or cult-related activities.
“The police commissioner and his team could not have arrested any staff of the university, or found 14 students dead and not make a report, formal or informal, to the authorities of Ambrose Alli university.
“The police commissioner, by his pronouncement, has opened the way for damaging and libelous display of falsehood in the social media. The university management hereby enjoins students of Ambrose Alli University to disregard this false, distressing and embarrassing report in the media, fueled by officers of the law.
“We hereby demand that the Edo state police commissioner retracts his statement and apologise to Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma within 48 hours, failing which the university will not hesitate to institute legal proceedings.”
Some lecturers of the university were recently arrested by the Edo state police command over alleged cult-related activities.
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