The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of Police officers responsible for the killing of two students of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE).
The TMG Chairperson and Chairman Board, West Africa Network for Peace, Nigeria (WANEP-Nigeria), Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, made the call in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
She also call for the immediate lift on the ban on the Students Union, saying history has shown that proscribing the union of students portend more dangers to the system noting that in this instance it is very unnecessary.
According to her, she met with the leadership of the Students Union of the university, on Friday in Ibadan, to commiserate with the Student Union Government (SUG) and the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) over the incident which occurred during a peaceful protest at the university community last week.
She said the meeting was attended by the President of the SUG FUOYE, Comrade Awodola Oluwaseun Samuel, leadership of NANS National body led by Comrade Ojo Raymond Immunity and other former students’ union leaders of NANS.
She condemns the unruly conduct of the police officers that are meant to keep peace in the community, and who apparently triggered the chaos which resulted in the preventable deaths of two innocent students, Okonufa Joseph, a 300 Level Student of Biology Education and Dada Kehinde, a 100 level Student of Crop Science and Horticulture.
“We therefore demand for the immediate prosecution of the police officers and other member of the Police Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) involved in this unfortunate incident.
“The reports from the students and other sources revealed that the protest was peaceful until the President of the Student Union was physically assaulted and slapped by an identifiable police officer.
“An act that is unbecoming of a responsible police officer in a democratic setting, the said officer has been known for being notorious and brutal with students, and other innocent citizens.
“The students at the meeting shared evidence of past overzealousness of the said officer, who is a member of the Chief Security Officers (CSO) team. TMG therefore calls for the immediate arrest and prosecution of this police officer,” Akiyode-Afolabi said.
She said that witnesses said that despite the assault, the President of the SUG was able to calm the students down until when one of the CTU officers fired the first shot, an act that was openly queried by a superior officer present at the scene, before hell was let loose.
She said, “It is therefore important for the office of the IGP and state government to unravel the puzzles emerging from the incidents and bring all culprits to book, to prevent a re-occurrence of this kind of ugly incidents.
“As an immediate remedy, we call on the Federal Government to constitute a panel of enquiry to unravel the mysteries surrounding the whole incidents.”
According to her, while there are speculations that the wife of the state governor ordered the shooting and eventual killing of the students, the Student Union President, said that Erelu Bisi Fayemi, was at the Civic Centre while this was going on and might be unaware of the fracas going on outside the Civic Centre, until it became worse.
“TMG is therefore of the opinion that she therefore will not be in a position to order the firing of the students and that it will be in the interest of justice not to implicate anyone, who has no command responsibility for the conduct of the police. Rather the incident affirms the growing brutality and use of excessive force by the Nigerian Police, and the entrenched culture of impunity of perpetrators in several parts of the country, which has once again resulted in these preventable deaths of the two innocent students,” she said.