Nineteen students of the Polytechnic of Ibadan including their Students Union Government (SUG), President Oluwadamilola Peter Edema were arrested on Friday for invading the Oyo State Police Headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan, to demand release of two of their colleagues but injured a police officer during the ensuing melee.
Edema, eight other executive members and their colleagues according to an Higher National Diploma (HND), student of the institution had gone to the police headquarters to bail two of their colleagues who were arrested by the police on Wednesday. But the police said there was no record of such arrest as claimed by the students.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Adekunle Ajisebutu in a chat with the SJ on Saturday said the SUG President and his colleagues who are still in their custody were misled because there was no record of arrest of the students they claimed they came to bail. He said the DPO in charge of Apete Police Station and that of Eleyele had informed him that there was no record of such arrest as claimed by the students.
Ajisebutu said the SUG President and 18 others were arrested for assaulting policemen on duty, breaching of public peace and invading of the police headquarters on Friday.
The SUG PRO, Fredrick Ohiamen disclosed to our correspondent that “The Students Union president of The Polytechnic of Ibadan was detained alongside ten members of his executive at the police Headquarters, Eleyele in Ibadan, Oyo state.
“The students Union heard that some of their students were arrested by men of the force yesterday 8/02/2017 at Apete area of the ancient city. The president went to the station to asked why the students were arrested and on getting there, the police said they thought they were Yahoo boys and they said they couldn’t find any evidence so the 2 boys were released.
“Meanwhile, as they were leaving the station, one of the trigger happy policeman cocked his gun at the students union President and the students had to ask him if he wanted to shoot and the trigger police man considered the question as an insult and slapped the person that asked the question. Immediately, the students union executives were beaten up and was arrested and presently, they have been locked in criminal cell including the females among them. “Let’s start to demand the immediate release of the union excos and demand for the resignation of the Police Commissioner of Oyo state.
The SUG PRO however, said the two students who are HND 11 students of Architectural Design were surreptitiously released through the back gate of the police headquarters when it dawned on them that the situation had degenerated to a crisis point.
But the police spokesperson, Ajisebutu, while refuting the arrest of the two students as claimed, informed that the SUG President and those who came to invade the headquarters were advised by the Dean of the Students Affairs of the institution to take the matter gently but instead mobilized themselves to assault, breach public peace and invade the command’s headquarters.
The Police spokesman who said that the police did not require a warrant in all cases before they can arrest offenders pointed out that the students were not immune from arrest by the police. “They mobilized themselves, you know there is a Jummat Mosque here that is open to members of the public every Friday, they lied that they were going to observe Jummat service at the command’s headquarters, that is why they were allowed in, after they gained entrance, they went straight to the Commissioner of Police office singing various solidarity songs, the policemen on duty were assaulted, that resulted to the arrest of about 19 of them.
“And when I asked the SUG President the names of the students he claimed were arrested, he could not name the names of the said students whom they claimed were arrested, he was advised by the Dean of Students Affairs but he did not take the advice, he mobilized his colleagues and invaded the headquarters.
“I called the DPO in charge of Apete and that of Eleyele, they said there was no evidence of such arrest, they said there is no record of students who were arrested. No student was arrested. He was misled. When asked when the students will be released or charged to court, Ajisebutu said the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sam Adegbuyi will determine when they will be released or arraigned in court for the offence. He said, “It is the opinion of the CP, If the opinion of the CP is to arraign and charge them to court, so shall it be. Ajisebutu, however, informed that the police and the school authority will decide on how to settle the matter amicably.