Police hunt for killers of Abia State University students

Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 15 March 2016 | 6,240 times

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The police in Abia State have launched a serious manhunt for suspected cultists who killed, butchered and severed the heads of two 300-level students of Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU).

The gruesome murder of Nwigbo Chukwuebuka (Estate Management) and Samuel Ethelbert (Political Science) last Saturday night has sent shockwaves down the spines of both students and staff of the school.

The Abia State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Ezekiel Onyeke Udeviotu, has confirmed the barbaric act. He told newsmen in Umuahia on Monday that the command has commenced full investigation into the dastardly act, saying that the Commissioner of Police, Joshak Habila, had ordered the manhunt of the fleeing assailants.

The PPRO attributed the murder of the undergraduates to a clash between two rival cult groups, Mafia and Burkina Faso, in the university and a retaliation by the latter to avenge the alleged killing of its suspected leader.

Udeviotu said that the police had deposited the remains of the deceased in a private mortuary in Uturu.

News Express learnt that deceased two 300-level students were beheaded in their private hostel room on Saturday in an alleged reprisal attack by members of Mafia, around 9:30 pm in their No. 21 apartment in the hostel, called Chidoo Lodge.

The lodge, which is built in an isolated area on Uturu-Afikpo Road, about four kilometres away from the university main gate, has been deserted by other occupants.

The attackers were said to have also inflicted severe machete cuts all over the body, head and hands of another student, Isaac Umeasoro, who was said to have visited the deceased at the time of the incident.

Umeasoro, a 300-level student of Political Science, was said to have crawled out of the room shouting for help after the assailants had left the lodge with the remains of the deceased in a “Ghana-must-go” bag.

It was learnt that Umeasoro’s cry attracted other occupants of the lodge, who rushed to the scene and later alerted the police, while Umeasoro was quickly taken to a private hospital in the area for attention. His condition is said to be critical.

To give colour to their barbarism, the yet-to-be identified killers were said to have displayed the heads and trunks of the deceased openly in the university’s football field close to the school gate.

“The gory sight of the remains caused a serious stir within the university community and its environs,” a prominent member of the community said, on the condition of anonymity.

The source added that the incident may not be unconnected with the reported beheading of one Collins Agwu, a 300-level student of Microbiology, otherwise known as Biggy, who was the leader of Burkina Faso, another cult group on campus.

“Agwu was buried on Saturday in Arochukwu, the same day the group launched a reprisal attack on the deceased,” the source said.

A senior member of the University Security Department also confirmed the incident and blamed it on rivalry between two cult groups.

“There are cult groups in higher institutions all over the country and what happened here on Saturday was a clash between two rival groups,” the security man said on the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, security on the campus has been reinforced with more plain clothes men and soldiers, some of whom were deployed to the entrance gate of the school.

The university spokesman, Mr Acho Elendu, confirming the killings to newsmen on phone, said that the university management was still meeting and would issue a statement on the incident soon.

The incident is the first major challenge the new Vice Chancellor, Prof. Uche Ikonne, who assumed office on December 1, 2015, has to contend with.

However, the incident did not disrupt academic activities as students, who are said to be

writing their exams and going about their businesses peacefully.

•Photo shows police.

Source: News Express

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