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Police invasion in Enugu Uni. stirs uproar

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By Mercy Kelani

SUG President says 50 students were arrested in the school’s premises.

According to recent reports, there has been an invasion of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) by operatives of the Nigerian Police Force which led to the arrest of more than 50 students. It was reported that the invasion happened on Friday evening, July 8, 2023, during the curfew which was observed across the statement. The president of the ESUT Students Union Government (SUG), Donatus Okolieuwa, affirmed that policemen who stormed the school were from the anti-cult Unit of the Enugu State Police Command.

This invasion by police operatives on the university’s campuses, as described by Okolieuwa, had a disturbing effect on students on campus. Expressing discontentment concerning the incident, SUG President urged Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, Enugu State Governor, to intervene in the matter so that affected students can be granted their freedom before any form of crisis begin as the incident had arose tension in the campus. He appealed to the release of arrested students, stressing that they are been tortured for no valid cause.

Students who were playing games in the cafeteria were all arrested.

Okolieuwa, in his narration of the occurrence, stated that he was attending a students’ meeting at Dragon Relaxation Centre, 82 Division, Enugu, when he got a call from a student that armed men invaded the campus cafeteria around 5pm-6pm with two Hilux vans and a sienna bus; the police men also released a bullet in the air. He added that the manner of their arrival and the stories of unknown gunmen in the community coupled with the gunshot had students in front of the cafeteria running for their safety.

During the process of running for their lives, the gunmen chased after the students and made them all surrender. They also entered the cafeteria, arresting everyone in it. The people who were arrested in the cafeteria include students who were playing snookers and other games, female students who only came to charge their phones, the staff in the cafeteria, the manager and some of the school’s Security men. The Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the school was questioned but he denied having any knowledge of it.

Safety of students within the school is being questioned.

The Identity of the gunmen as members of the Anti-Cult Squad, Enugu, was discovered by the CSO who observed the scene of the arrest with his men. On the scene of the arrest, the CSO dismissed their intimidation after which he identified two of the arrested people, who are security operatives of the school; they were released upon identification. The students, including the females — who were released after seizure of their phones and power banks — suffered humiliation, after which all the male students were arrested.

President of ESUT SUG further asserted that he reached out to the Vice-Chancellor and the Department of State Services (DSS) officers responsible for students in Agbani and Enugu. Although they affirmed their unawareness concerning the arrest, they extended their assurance to the students that they would ensure the release of arrested students. As a result of this occurrence, students are beginning to get afraid of their safety even within the school’s premises coupled with the insecurities in the society.

Governor of Enugu has been called upon to settle the case.

Additionally, Okolieuwa said that students are afraid that armed men can enter the school premises to kidnap students without the knowledge of School Security operatives. He added that the union is against criminality and is fighting against it among students, but does not appreciate the unwarranted intimidation, humiliation, harassment and violation of the fundamental Human Rights of students. Therefore, he appealed to the governor and appropriate bodies that the right step should be taken without delay.


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