Students of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado Ekiti, on Wednesday took to the street to protest against alleged harassment and unlawful arrest of their colleagues by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The irate students barricaded the institution’s entrance gate with academic activities paralysed as most of the lecturers and other staff could not access the campus.
They appealed to EFCC Acting Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, to order his men to stop harassing innocent students under the guise of being suspected to be involved in cybercrime, popularly called ‘yahoo’.
The protest which began at about 8:15am and lasted till 2:30pm affected free flow of traffic on the Ado-Ifaki dual carriage way, where the aggrieved students gathered to express their displeasure.
Those travelling outside the state capital and those coming in through the route, were enmeshed in the web of gridlock and had to take a detour and took alternative routes to their respective destinations.
Addressing the students, the Director of Welfare, the institution Students’ Union Government, Com. Temitope Aladejare described the alleged arrest as illegal and unconstitutional.
He revealed that four of his colleagues were arrested by some policemen on Wednesday.
“They just came to the hostel in front of the EKSU’s main gate and arrested four of our members. Two of the victims were even naked and they were in their rooms when they pounced on them.
“When they came, they introduced themselves as operatives of the EFCC and forcefully bundled the victims into a van and took them to an unknown destination.
“We are calling on authorities of governments to call them to order,” he said.
When contacted to comment on the protest, the EKSU Public Relations Officer, Mr. Bode Olofinmuagun, said he was not on campus and that didn’t have firsthand information about the arrest and the protest staged by the students.
But the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said he could confirm that arrest were made, which triggered the students to embark on protest.
Ikechukwu added that the police swiftly swung into action to restore orderliness, by ensuring the removal of all blockages on highway for smooth human and vehicular movements.
“I can confirm to you that there was arrest. But the police will continue to be an effective security organisation that will continually work for the peace of our society.
“The students protested and they blocked the major highway and prevented commuters from moving in and out of the state capital, this we will never condone, because that road is not within the confine of the university.
“They obstructed vehicular movements for hours, but we have been able to remove those blockages and restored peace and order around the school premises,” he said.
It would be recalled that few weeks ago, over 40 youths, some of whom were students of higher institutions were arrested in Ado Ekiti by EFCC and whisked away to Ibadan, Oyo State for alleged cyber fraud.
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