ASUU, Edo police bicker over cultism allegation
Union demands transfer of CP Gwandu
The police in Edo State and the Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Ekpoma Edo State Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have been engaged in a war of words over allegation by the police that some senior lecturers of the university have been involved in cultism with some even arrested with firearms.
The ASUU described the allegation by the Commissioner of Police, Haliru Gwandu, as a macabre dance aimed at discrediting the reputation of the university and the hardwork of its lecturers.
Gwandu at a press briefing last week said some killings in the university were also discovered during recent raids by policemen of some hotspots in the town and that some senior lecturers at the university who were abetting cult activities in the area would not go free as the long hand of the law would meet them with stiff punishment.
He said some suspected kidnappers, armed robbers and cultists have been arrested by the state command and that the police would continue its zero tolerance to crime in the state.Gwandu also said that among those arrested was a professor from whom a double-barrelled gun, single-barrelled gun and one pump-action gun were allegedly recovered.
The police commissioner’s statement came less than a week after the command refuted reports that its operatives allegedly brutalised the Dean of the Faculty of Law of the university, Prof. Sunday Edeko.
But briefing newsmen in Ekpoma at the weekend, Chairman, Ekpoma branch of ASUU, Monday Igbafe, said Gwandu was trying to justify the brutalisation of Edeko who they also allegedly forced to write an ill-thought statement and a letter of apology.
He faulted the Police CP for transferring the policeman said to have led the anti-cultism team to the school and demanded to know the names of the lecturers he claimed to have been arrested, where the dead bodies or human skulls were allegedly recovered and if they were students or indigenes of Ekpoma town.
Igbafe said it was unprofessional for Gwandu to allege that some lecturers were arrested with firearms without bringing it to the knowledge of the management for redress.
He also condemned the CP for allegedly toeing the path of lies instead of applying diplomacy to resolve the matter between the police and the lecturer.Igbafe said that the only case of investigation brought to the knowledge of the leadership of ASUU was that of a lecturer who was arrested with firearms in February and was released after presenting the licences to the firearms because he was a member of the vigilante group in Ekpoma.
He, therefore, called on the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in-charge of Zone 5, Abubakar Muhammad and the Inspector-General of Police to transfer the Edo CP and launch a proper investigation to unravel the misconceptions fed to the public by Mr. Haliru Gwandu.
Meanwhile, 72 cultists from Eyo Abasi in Oron Local Council of Akwa Ibom State have renounced their membership of different 18 secret cult groups, while 49 suspected cultists of different cult groups have been arrested by Nigeria Police Force, Akwa Ibom State Command.The state police commissioner, Mr. Don Awunah, made this known in a press briefing held at the Force Headquarters, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
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