NANS demands prosecution of students responsible for OAU finalist’s death

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The National Association of Nigerian Students has demanded that those allegedly responsible for the killing of Okoli Ahinze, a 500-level student at Obafemi Awolowo University, who was purportedly lynched for supposed stealing, be prosecuted.

The student body emphasised the need to find and prosecute individuals responsible for the mob behaviour.

Ahinze was killed by a mob for allegedly stealing a phone.

The deceased was claimed to have been battered by the mob inside the Awolowo Hall, it had been earlier reported that he had been rushed to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife after complications.

It was learned that the student was suspected of stealing a mobile phone from Awo Hall.

In retaliation, the student body expressed disapproval of the alleged mob justice meted out to the deceased in a statement signed by its national public relations officer, Giwa Yisa Temitope.

Temitope referred to the deed as shameful but emphasised that the body will not back down until justice was done.

The statement read in part, “During our interaction with the Dean, Division of Students’ Affairs and the CSO of the institution, we got to understand that the death was a result of mismanagement of a case that could have been best handled in the most lawful means.

“We were also told that as against the information making rounds, at no point was the Quick Response Squad of the University called upon to convey the deceased to the health centre before he gave up the ghost.

“In fact, as a students’ body which frowns against criminality in every form of it, we maintain that it was very wrong to have called the security unit of the University to convey the deceased to the health centre before he gave up the ghost, rather, the leadership of the Students’ Union should have, upon been handed over to by the security committee of Awolowo Hall where the theft was alleged to have taken place immediately take him to the health centre for necessary treatment to be administered on him considering the injury he has suffered as a result of the beaten he got at Awolowo Hall.

“On his thigh is a very deep cut and what appears to be the use of an object to inscribe O on his thigh.

“While interacting with the CP, Mr Kehinde Longe, who invited the OC Homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation Department to also brief us on their efforts so far, we made our stance known that we shall not in any way stand in the way of justice and that we shall collaborate and cooperate with the institution of the Police to ensure that everyone involved in the murder is brought to justice.”

Temitope further noted, “The deed has been done but the only favour we can do to the memory of the dead is to ensure that justice is served appropriately in order to serve as deterrence for others.

“We have tasked the institution of the Police to ensure that those the deceased was handed over to at the Students’ Union Building be invited and interrogated too as it will assist in the cause of investigation.

“Keeping the student in custody for close to eight hours before he gave up the ghost despite the obvious fact that he needed medical attention as a result of the beating he was offered while at Awolowo Hall is in itself culpability considering the provisions of the Criminal Code which mandates one to prevent the commission of a crime so far it’s within one’s power. Right now, a crime has been committed.

“Once again, we state that we frown against every form of jungle justice, not even on our campuses. Mob means people and everyone involved in that shameful and criminal act must be identified and brought to justice.

“Great Ife remains the bastion of vibrant and virile students’ unionism in Nigeria and the interests of the students must prevail.”