Some students of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, OAU suspected to be members of cultists’ groups, have been locked up at the Osun state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Osogbo.
The students, handed over to the state security operatives by the University’s security unit on Wednesday and Friday, were alleged of being members of cultists’ groups and assaulting one within and outside the University.
As confirmed by OAU KILONSHELE, about 12 students are in the custody of the state’s CID. Mr. John Udeh, a part 2 student of Social studies education; Mr. Tobi Oladoye (Hon. Tobi), a final year student of English department; Ridwan Oluwatobi (Virus da viper) a part 2 student of Local Government studies and a reported graduate identified as ‘Jaaga’, were part of those arrested.
According to the Chairman of the Hall Executive Council, Akindipe Israel (Izzieman), a part 5 student of the faculty of law, students arrested have had issues with the University security unit prior to the time of arrest.
“Udeh reported that Tobi sent his guys to beat him up and sent his pictures to them.”
Mr Akindipe, who also narrated an event, stated that the two, Mr Udeh and Mr Oladoye, had a clash, which led to one way-laying the other.
“Udeh with his gang beat up Tobi and he had to retaliate by biting Udeh’s finger. Udeh then took Tobi’s phone and wristwatch to the security unit to report him.” He explained.
“They used to be best of friends as everyone knows. But all of a sudden, they started attacking one another.” He added
Mr Akindipe furthered that the case of the duo led to the revelation made by naming some of the suspected cultists in the University. Some students have been sent letters through their departments for investigations.
Also, OAU KILONSHELE learnt that for the past three weeks, the security unit of the school has been inviting several students for interrogation.
One of the students invited, Michael Omowaye told OAU KILONSHELEthat he was summoned and that he denied being a member of any cultists’ group except Kegites, the group of palm wine drinkers.
“I’ve cleared myself at investigations. These guys are my friends like any random persons but I’m not a cultist if they are.” He stated
Mr Omowaye was also arrested by the state security operatives but has been exonerated on Saturday. All efforts to reach him proved abortive after the confirmation of his release through the intervention of the Halls Executive Council.
Also, pictorial evidence of text messages made available to the journalist indicated that an attempt to initiate some students was made. These were also sent to the School’s security unit.
However, the Chief Security officer of the school, Babatunde Oyatokun, has refused to comment on the arrest of the students. He didn’t respond to calls put across by the news agency.
Meanwhile, speaking with the Public relations officer of the University, Abiodun Olanrewaju, he stated that the school had to resort to the state’s security for more findings.
“The security unit of our University gathered some intelligent information and acted on the basis of that intelligence gathering and it paid off in the sense that they were able to arrest some students suspected to be members of cultists’ movements.” He said
“We transferred the case to the state CID for professional investigation, which we will also act on afterwards.”
He noted that some students confessed that they were forcefully initiated. “That some were forcefully initiated speaks volume about us. That the school does not condone such and not cultism friendly”
“OAU has zero tolerance for cultism, exam malpractices, sexual harassment and any other thing that can constitute a breach of matriculation oath to our students.” He reiterated.
Mr. Olanrewaju also confirmed that some steps are being taken to apprehend some other suspects but he didn’t relay these to the reporter because of security implications.
It should be recalled that this news outfit reported the remembrance of Five students of the University killed by cultists in 1999. George Iwilade, the then Secretary General of the students’ union, and Four others were murdered on July 10, 1999.