23 October 2010
About 200 students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), on Friday, went on the rampage in Awka, the Anambra State capital, following the arrest and detention of 20 of them by the police in the state, including the president of the institution’s students’ union, Mr Nelson Omenugha.
Saturday Tribune gathered that some students of the institution were arrested by the police on their way from a club in the state capital and the union’s president in company with some students went to secure their release.
However, things went awry between the policemen and the students who went to secure the release, leading to the detention of their union’s president.
The students, in annoyance, stormed the Freedom Square at Aroma Junction at the expressway to Enugu and held traffic and commercial activities for about two and a half hours.
Secretary of the Students Union, Okonkwo Israel, said “some of our colleagues were beaten up yesterday and when we came to secure their release, we were manhandled. That is why we are protesting to ensure that they are released from the Central Police Station (CPS) Awka.”
Director of Sports of the Students Union, Okorie Ikechukwu, alleged that “at the CPS, the gate was locked against us and the policemen started beating us, calling us kidnappers.”
A police source in the state told Saturday Tribune that the issues were ordinarily not serious except that the students decided to overdo it, alleging that “a student went as far as slapping an ASP at the station.”
The source added that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Philemon Leha, requested that the students be brought to him, adding that is where the students were at press time.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Emeka Chukwuemeka, confirmed the incident, but pointed out that the command was at the top of the situation and would settle the matter as quickly as possible.