How police killed two FUOYE students during protest – SUG President

The President of the Student Union Government of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Oluwaseun Awodola, has narrated how policemen from the Ekiti State Police Command allegedly killed two students of the institution.

He identified the deceased students as Oluwaseyi Kehinde, a 100-level student of Crop Science and Horticulture, and Joseph Okonofua, a 300-level student of Biology Education.

The student leader said two others were injured and admitted to hospital.

Awodola insisted that the police must be held accountable for the death of the students.

The protest was said to have been staged against the blackout on the campus of the institution.

The demonstration later degenerated, leading to the killing of the two students.

The school management had issued a statement on Wednesday asking all students to vacate their hostels because the campus had been shut indefinitely.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, had claimed that the students attacked the convoy of the wife of the state governor, Bisi Fayemi.

Ikechukwu also alleged that the students assaulted policemen and damaged a police vehicle.

He denied that the police shot any student at the scene.

However, the SUG president noted that the police were responsible for the death of the two students.

Awodola explained that while Okonofua, aka Icon, was shot in the stomach, Kehinde, a class representative, was shot in the head.

He said, “We finished the peaceful demonstration around 1.40pm. When I was done with a press conference, we discharged all our students by 2pm.

“I went to sleep at my friend’s place. I was still asleep when I was called around 4pm that some of our students had been arrested. A student told me that they were arrested on the Ikole campus and the police were bringing them to Oye.

“I decided to meet the soldier, who was with us during the protest, so that we could find a way to bail the arrested students. Together with the soldier, we went to meet the Oye Divisional Police Officer. The DPO assured us that the students would be released.”

The 300-level Biochemistry student explained that with the assurance, he returned to his friend’s house to continue resting.

He added that a few minutes later, his personal assistant called him that the soldier was looking for him.

Awodola stated, “I thought it was about the bail. When I met the soldier, he said the Chief Security Officer to the governor was around and that I should meet him.

“When we got to where the CSO was, we started talking, but an official came from nowhere and slapped me.

“There were students around and that incident almost degenerated into chaos. Everybody queried the official for slapping me. I was also angry and asked what I did. The soldier and the CSO begged me to remain calm.

“They said we should enter the car to go and see the governor and that they would ensure that the official apologised. The students said I should not go.

“Later, they said I should meet with the wife of the governor and that she was around. The students, again, said I should not go.”

Awodola said while the CSO and the soldier tried to appease him, the former told him to meet with the state Commissioner of Police.

He added, “The CSO asked the soldier and I to wait for him for a minute. After a while, I told the soldier that I wanted to go and rest and that I was no longer angry. I stood to go and meet the CSO to tell him that I was leaving.

“As I turned to leave, we heard a gunshot from a policeman, who shot in the air. The CSO to the governor ran to meet the policeman and asked him why he shot in the air. Before we knew it, the police had fired tear gas canisters at us and that was how the commotion started.

“The indigenes started throwing stones and the students joined them. Everything turned violent as the police started shooting at the students. That was when they killed a student, which aggravated the already tensed situation. And we later lost another student.”

He lamented that the poor handling of the protest by the police led to the loss of two lives.

The SUG leader called for an investigation into the deaths, saying justice must be served.

……Punch

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