The killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt has continued to generate outcry and even sparked off demonstrations among students of the institution. The video of how the students, Lloyd, Ugonna, Tekana and Chidiaka were brutally murdered went on the internet on Saturday. In the gory video, the students who had already been stripped naked laid down helpless as a result of having been brutally beaten. They were continually hit with big sticks, mostly on the head. Brains could be seen splattering as a result of fractures on some of their skulls. Each of them had a tyre put on his neck. A man came, poured petrol and set one of them alight while people looked on. The burning victim tried to get up but fell as he was too weak and could barely move. Before long, stories started flying that the students were killed by members of the Aluu Community because they stole laptops and phones. A new twist has however emerged as it has been alleged that the students were cultists who had gone to attack someone in the community and were apprehended in the process. It was alleged that the students had dangerous weapons on them when they were apprehended. An account said they went to attack someone and were seen by a girl who screamed. That alerted the members of the community who came out and arrested them.
A student who claimed to be an eye witness disclosed that “members of the Aluu Community complained that they had been terrorized by robbers lately so they set up a vigilante group. At about 5 am this morning (Friday),they got word that there were some robbers in the area and they made sure all exits were blocked while they waited. They were caught and dragged to the community head who told them to confess and they gave three different stories that didn’t even match.”
On twitter, someone in Port Harcourt using the handle Quuin_Pen tweeted that “They were actually 5, one of them escaped. They got info about someone that had some money. It wasn’t phones and laptops please.” It was stated in the next tweet from the handle that “Ugonna (the cutest) sister said she actually gave him money yesterday to go back home. PS He is an only son with 4 sisters.” The handle also tweeted that “Anyways people actually begged for their lives but the community boys were bent on dealing wit dem! These boys had machetes and axes sef. The community boys started beating den with their own machetes and other weapons until they gave up! Police came afterwards for the bodies.”
That was followed by yet another tweet, “Lloyd (one of the criminals) father works with Radio Rivers and even announced on air today that his son is no thief”. “They chose a wrong path and they knew the end… Did they expect an angry mob to pat them on dia backs and give them ice cream? Oh please.”
Yet another account had it that one of the victims was being owed by a student who lived in the community and they had gone to demand payment from the creditor. A friend was said to have gone with them and while there the creditor remained adamant causing the group of friends to seize his laptop and mobile phones saying he should come for them when he was ready to pay up. The creditor allegedly raised alarm that he was being robbed. His noise reportedly spurred the vigilante group into action.
The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi has ordered a full scale investigation into the matter while he also warned the students of the University of Port Harcourt against reprisal attacks on the people of Aluu community.