Reports monitored from Nekede and Ihiagwa communities housing two major Federal institutions of higher learning including the Federal Polytechnic Nekede (FEDPOLYNEK) and the Federal University of Technology (FUTO) Ihiagwa show clearly that police brutality against the student communities is on the upsurge.
The aggressors in Chief are the Police Personnel serving at the Division Police Command in the area. No day passes without an ugly incident with either the police molesting, maltreating and manhandling students of the colleges, or dragging them about for no just cause. The evils perpetrated against the students of these tertiary institutions by these overzealous police officers include harassment, intimidation, torture, invasion of privacy and bullying which has become a norm.
An instant case is the brutality of a student of Federal Polytechnic Nekede by the men and officers of the Nekede/Ihiagwa Police Division on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The victim is a student of Mass Communication; one Cajethan Okereke also known as CJ.
The police had invaded his modest hostel in the early hours of the day, but were stopped by the President of the hostel but the police could not have any of it. They eventually forced the door of one of the hostels where Cajethan Okereke and others ran into open where a number of students were inside and immediately started bullying and kicking them with their jackboots.
The unlucky Cajethan Okereke who could not bear the severe beatings any longer slumped and became unconscious. When he could not be resuscitated by a combination of the police and the colleagues, he was rushed to the Human Race Hospital nearby before he was later brought to the schools medical centre when the hospital proved incapable of handling his precarious case.
No explanation has been adduced for such terror which was nevertheless unleashed on the innocent students. However following distress calls put up to the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Students Affairs, Hon Franklin Oparaji, the culprits have been promptly arrested and would soon be charged to court for assault occasioning harm and acts capable of breaching the public peace.
In the words of our source, this is what transpired at the scene of the brutality.
“In the early hours of today in modest hostel, a boy by name Goodluck saw a police patrol van approaching their hostel, he ran into a room with some of the lodge mates. This room happens to be Cajetan Okereke’s room. The police got to the room door and saw footwears, they banged on the door for the boys to open the door but no response, eventually the President of Modest Hostel came in and asked the police what the problem was.
In his statement “officers please what’s the problem?, am the president of this lodge, what is the problem?”.
The police replied “we want these boys to open this door or we damage it”.
The lodge president asked the police officers if they found any of the boys with illegal arms or exhibit but the police said no. He then said “officers promise me none of these boys are leaving this environment with u and the police men said they are not taking anybody outside the lodge”.
The president then asked the boys to open their door, some of them vehemently refused but Cajetan Okereke pleaded with them to open the door since none of them has committed any crime and that they are clean. Cajetan Okereke rose up and went for the door. Immediately he opened it, the police officers barged in and manhandled four of them. One kicked him at the chest with more beatings. The others beat the remaining boys brutally.
According to the president, Cajatan slumped and couldn’t say anything. One of the female police officer who was against the male police officers for beating the students mercilessly reached out for a hand fan to fan the slumped boy but no response. The officers joined hands too but to no avail. They left the boy there unconscious. The president asked them why they have to do such, yet they couldn’t give any concrete reason rather than to say that they wasted their time. They were about leaving with the other three (3) boys when the President of the hostel stopped and begged them not to and the police officers had to request for fuel money, after which the president gave them N2000 and they left.
The boy was however rushed to human race hospital by some of his lodge mates; the hospital rejected him after N10,000 was spent there. Then he was later brought to the school medical center where he is responding to treatment”.
Effort to reach the police public relations officer(PPRO),SP Olando Ikeokwu for his reaction on the matter proved abortive as his phone line was unavailable.