A final year student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, whose name could not be immediately ascertained, has been reportedly beaten to death on suspicion that he stole a mobile phone.
Sources on the campus told PUNCH Metro that the student was accused of stealing a mobile phone in Awo Hall on Monday and after he had been severely beaten, he was moved to another location on campus in the early hours of Tuesday where he remained till noon.
Our correspondent further learnt that because of the beating he received, his health deteriorated and he was rushed to the OAU Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, where he was confirmed dead on Tuesday afternoon.
When contacted for more details on the incident, the university’s Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olanrewaju, simply said, “A student died and the management is investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. We will make our position known after investigation.”
However, the President of Great Ife Students’ Union, Folahan Olayiwola, in a statement said the deceased was assaulted by a mob at Awo Hall on Monday and was later declared dead on arrival at the OAU Teaching Hospital.
The statement read, “I regret to announce the death of a Part 5 student assaulted in a mob action at Awo Hall yesterday (Monday). The student was declared dead on arrival at the Emergency Medicine Department of OAU Teaching Hospital this (Tuesday) afternoon.
“Preliminary investigations show that the deceased was accused to have stolen a phone. While we await an official report from the law enforcement agencies, I must state that this incident is a very sad one for Great Ife Students’ Union because our union is not a union of barbarians but that of intellectuals.
“Arrests and investigations of individuals suspected to be connected with the assault of the deceased are being made for consequent legal actions. Our union does not support mob actions and justice must be served in this incident. Pending investigations of this unfortunate development, the activities of the Hall Executive Council of Awo Hall are suspended immediately.”
Olayiwola, who described the incident as most inhumane, insisted that justice must be served accordingly irrespective of those involved.
“Mob actions are banned and not allowed on the OAU campus! I reassure Great Ife students that the union is working assiduously with the school authorities and the relevant law enforcement officers to make sure that justice is meted out appropriately,” he added.