Criticisms and condemnations have continued to trail Monday’s invasion of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Federal College of Agriculture and Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, all located within the same premises at Moore Plantation, Apata Ibadan by men of the Oyo State Police Command.
DAILY POST had reported that two staff of IAR&T, including Mrs Helen Adekanmi and another male staff who were shot during the fracas are currently receiving treatments at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
An industrial training (IT) student, a male staff, Mr. Lanre Johnson and ten other staff sustained various degrees of injuries.
Five cars belonging to staff of IAR&T were also seen by our correspondent damaged during the melee that lasted for over two hours.
Trouble started some minutes before 8 am on Monday when students of Federal College of Agriculture, which shares the same premises with the two other institutions, were peacefully protesting within the premises against the leadership of the Provost of the institution, Dr. Babajide Adelekan.
Chairman, Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), IAR&T chapter, Mr. Emmanuel Olufemi Oladehinde condemned the police for allegedly shooting on peacefully protesting students.
Oladehinde while giving his eyewitness account of the incident noted that though the protesting students blocked the road, the police shot bullets and canisters on all on sight without regard to anyone.
He, however, noted that the overzealous policemen, led by a Divisional Police Officer, ordered for his arrest and four other staff of the institution who were also brutalised by the same police.
He noted that it took the intervention of the Area Commander who ordered for their release.
Oladehinde said “I was at the spot: what really happened is that the students were making a peaceful demonstration; though they blocked the road, the policemen that were there, suddenly started shooting; so the students came inside the institute and the police they said they cannot identify who one is a staff and who is a student.
“So they started shooting, they started teargasing everybody on sight. I was even arrested; I was harassed. I went to the DPO and I said see, this is my identity, I am the NASU chairman of the institute, those ones they even arrested are staff of IAR&T, and the DPO said they should arrest me too.
“I was arrested, they collected my wallet but later they returned my wallet to me, the police even stoned me, they stoned me in my hands and four of our staff were brutalised, they were detained, we went to the station to go and release them, it was the Area Commander that gave them the order that they should release them, so they were released.
“We took them to the hospital and they have been discharged from the hospital. But those that were shot are still in the UCH now; the information we learnt was that they are about to wheel the woman that was shot in the adornment to the theatre.
“So the second person, who was shot on the leg, is also there. That is the situation we found ourselves.”
A staff of the institute who begged not to be named while speaking with DAILY POST called for thorough investigation of the police activities.
He said “There is a need to investigate the activities of the policemen; we don’t know who called them, what they did was very wrong. How can they just be shooting on innocent people like that?
“The police invaded the IAR&T and shot two of our staff and an IT student. Several others were also injured. I don’t have the picture now, but some of our staff and even students have the video. You can see, it is very unfortunate.
“And unfortunately, the bullets went straight to the innocent people, it is not a rubber bullet, it is a real bullet.
“We shall see if it is rubber or real bullet, when they remove the bullets, that is when we will know who is lying”.
Another staff who also asked not to be named said that the invasion has caused fear and psychological trauma to some of the staff, especially the female.
He, however, appealed to the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris to as a matter of urgency investigate the overzealous policemen.
He said “It is bad for police in this era to invade an institution like this. This is condemnable and unfortunate. They have to pay for it”.
Efforts to get the spokesperson of the State Police Command, Adekunle Ajisebutu proved abortive.
Several calls to his mobile telephone were not successful.
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