Following the lynching of four students of the University of Port Harcourt, River State, the police have arrested Aluu community leader, Alhaji Hassan Walewa.
The police on Sunday morning stormed Aluu in Ikwerre Local Government Area, where the students were beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob.
Also arrested by security agents were members of Walewa’s family and some students of the institution, who lived off campus.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the community was deserted when security agents and soldiers stormed the area in search of those who killed the students on Friday. The lynched students were identified as Lloyd, Tekena, Ugonna and Chidiaka. Those who lynched the students reportedly accused them of stealing laptops and phones.
Speaking with a correspondent of Punch on Sunday, the immediate past President of UNIPORT’s Students’ Union, Mr. Rhino Owhorkire, expressed regrets that some students living within the community had also been arrested by the police.
Owhorkire explained that though the arrest of some members of the community was a welcome development, the arrest of “innocent” students living in the community was unnecessary.
He condemned the gruesome murder of the students, maintaining that the crowd should have handed them over to the police.
Owhorkire said, “We totally condemn the act that was perpetrated by the Omokiri Allu community. We ought to have gone beyond meting out jungle justice to anybody. They claimed the students were robbers, but nobody came out to say his property was stolen.
“We also heard that the students were cult members, who went to collect dues from other members. But the aggrieved colleagues decided to brand them thieves and this attracted some members of the community who killed them. We have been hearing a lot of rumours since the incident.”
He said that the UNIPORT Students Union had dissuaded students planning from embarking on a protest in Aluu community to shelve the idea in order to allow security agencies to carry out their investigation.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ben Ugwuegbulam, confirmed that some arrests were made in Aluu, adding that any person found not culpable would be released.
According to him, the police are making progress on their investigation based on the information at their disposal.
A source also said the video of how the students were killed was being investigated.
Also, the Public Relations Officer of UNIPORT, Dr. William Wodi, told PUNCH Metro that the university had yet to ascertain if the deceased were students of the university or not.
Wodi said the institution would make its position on the matter known to the public on Monday (today).
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