Nigeria’s University of Port Harcourt (Uniport) was closed yesterday after a student rampage protesting against the lynching of four of students alleged to have stolen phones and laptops in Aluu Community last Friday.
The Police have arrested Aluu community leader, Alhaji Hassan Walewa, some students living off campus and members of the community, reported The Punch.
The student demonstrations became violent, blocked traffic near the university in and out of Port Harcourt and targeted houses of those alleged to have been involved in the murders, the BBC reported.
Rhino Owhorkire, past President of UNIPORT’s Students’ Union, condemned the murders of the students and challenged those claiming to have lost property to come out.
He said: “We totally condemn the act that was perpetrated by the Omokiri Allu community. We ought to have gone beyond meting out jungle justice to anybody. They claimed the students were robbers, but nobody came out to say his property was stolen.”
“We also heard that the students were cult members, who went to collect dues from other members. But the aggrieved colleagues decided to brand them thieves and this attracted some members of the community who killed them. We have been hearing a lot of rumours since the incident.”
Ben Ugwuegbulam, the state Police Public Relations Officer, said the police were making progress in their investigations.
A YouTube video uploaded over the weekend shows four men stripped naked with tyres around their necks being beaten by a mob with wooden sticks, before being set on fire.
Its claimed that the four students belonged to a cult and had gone to collect money owed to them by a rival cult member and took a laptop and mobile phones when the rival failed to give them the money.
The rival is alleged to have alerted the mob saying the violent gang that had terrorised the village had been found.