The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma branch has called on Police high Command to investigate activities of the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Haliru Gwandu.
This is even as it condemned what it described as the “spurious” and “unfounded” arrest of some senior lecturers of the University by the Edo State Police Command, on allegations of cultism and unlawful possession of firearms.
It also described the claims of discovery of 14 bodies of beheaded students of the university by some policemen as a calculated attempt by the Commissioner to divert attention away from the alleged assault of the University’s Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Sunday Edeko.
The Chairperson and Secretary of its AAU chapter, Dr. Monday Igbafen, and Dr Anthony Aizebioje-Coker, respectively, in a statement made available to journalists on Thursday, said that purported apology letter written by Edeko was obtained by the police under duress to avoid further assault.
The Union’s reaction is coming 48 hours after the State Police Command announced the arrest of some senior academic staff of the University for Cult related activities and also recovered some firearms from a professor of the institution.
Gwandu had during the press briefing on Tuesday said operatives of the command had discovered “more than 14 beheaded students” during the inspection of a site.
But ASUU accused the Police Commissioner of engaging in a “macabre dance” meant to embarrass the university and its personnel and allegedly using his special anti-cult squad to harass and intimate innocent staff and students of the institution.
“This squad has been a thorn in the flesh of innocent and law-abiding citizens of Ekpoma and its environs.
“In its operations, this killer-squad led by one ASP Ojo, has not only been vicious and lawless, it has equally been involved in house breaking, extortion, confiscation of laptops, indiscriminate arrests and brutalisation of innocent residents of Ekpoma, all in the name of hunting cultists and kidnappers,” the union explained.
While challenging the CP to provide the names of the arrested staff, the 14 “dead bodies or human skulls” allegedly recovered and their location, the union wondered why the police did not parade the said lecturers during their press briefing.
It said, “As a union, our members used to take police briefing as a serious business. But from this Gwandu’s macabre dance, we know better now and have resolved to take any briefing by the police with a pinch of salt, especially those of Gwandu’s extraction.
“ASUU AAU, Ekpoma, calls on the AIG Zone 5 and the Inspector-General of Police to properly investigate Commissioner Gwandu and his activities in Edo State.”