Students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), on Monday, demanded the immediate release of detained students of the institution without any bail.
Speaking on behalf of the group during their protest visit to the Tribune House in Ibadan, a male student, Emmanuel, stated that their primary mission to the Tribune House was to request for the release of the detained FUNAAB students.
He also said that students have been victims of incessant robberies for too long and nothing has been done by the Ogun State police command.
The detained students, he explained, were arrested following a peaceful protest at the institution after a robbery that claimed the life of a student.
He stressed that the students were not violent during the protest.
Another aggrieved student, Richard, described the situation as highly devastating and inhumane on the part of the state police command.
“Students were handpicked from their various hostels after the police flushed them out with tear gas. The Ogun State Commissioner of Police issued a warrant that 150 FUNAABITES should be arrested. 50 were arrested and detained. They were not even granted bail. However, with the help of the special adviser to the state governor on student affairs, Mr Clement, 15 students were released at a bail of N100,000 per student. Over 30 students are still in the police cell till this moment,” he lamented.
The students added that though the state PPRO claimed no live ammunition was used, “a student is at the Intensive Care Unit of the University Teaching College (UCH) Ibadan, fighting for his life after a bullet wound that affected his brain.
“Members of the Nigeria Police used live ammunition to attack peaceful protesters and shot at Taiwo Abisoye, who has gone through two phases of surgery, brain surgery and optical surgery.”
He, therefore, urged concerned Nigerians and human rights activists to come to the aid of the FUNAAB students and ensure their release without any bail, stressing that FUNAABITES are known to be peaceful and are not hoodlums.
He rebuffed the police claim of violence against its members saying “no member of the state’s police was molested by the students.”
Reacting to the development, the acting Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the allegations of the students were far from the truth.
Oyeyemi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, told the Nigerian Tribune that no live ammunition was used by the police during the protest.
The image maker said the students, despite plea by the school authorities and the police, allowed what initially started as a peaceful protest to be hijacked by hoodlums.
He explained that genuine students of the university were advised on the security issues raised by them, in front of the university gate on the fateful day.
The PPRO noted that some students, despite the plea, went ahead to block the Ibadan/Abeokuta road and vandalised anything at sight.
“The students that were arrested were arrested at the scene of the riot. They vandalised about 14 vehicles, a police post, a church building and injured the Divisional Officer of Osiele Police Post.
“The boy that got injured in the riot was hit by teargas. No one died during the protest. No one demanded for money from them. Those that were arrested were arraigned before a court the following day.
“They are mischievous. They are lying against the police to discredit us.”