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Police arrest two over OAU student’s death

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By  Bola Bamigbola

Two persons said to be members of the Awo Hall Executives have been arrested by the police, following the death of a 500 Level student of the Civil Engineering Department at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Ahize Okoli.

Okoli was reportedly beaten to death by a mob on suspicion that he stole a mobile phone.

Sources on the campus said 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 the Students Union Building in the early hours of Tuesday where he remained till around noon.

It was further learnt that because of the beating he received, Okoli’s health deteriorated and he was rushed to the OAU Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, where he was confirmed dead Tuesday afternoon.

The Osun State Police Command, while giving an update on the incident on Wednesday, described the two people detained as student leaders.

The command’s spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, who spoke to journalists, said, “Investigation into the incident will continue and justice would be served. We have arrested two student leaders in connection with the incident.”

Also speaking, the university’s Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olarewaju, said the police should be allowed to investigate the matter, adding that the management of the institution would also carry out its investigation.

Olanrewaju said, “The university will not meddle in such a grievous offence. It bothers on the criminality of murder.

“So, let the police do their job and we will do our own here. We are going ahead with our investigation.”

Meanwhile, students in the Faculty of Technology, on Wednesday, blocked roads leading to the school campus in protest against Okoli’s death.

The protesters, who also demanded the arrest of all those involved in the assault on the deceased student, specifically called for the arrest of student security volunteers, who allegedly took custody of the deceased after he had been assaulted in Awo Hall of Residence.

The protesting students, who also ensured that lecture did not hold on campus, as a sign of respect for the deceased student, later removed the barricade and allowed movement into the campus, after the Dean, the Division of Students Affairs, Prof. Olalekan Aransi, had listened to their demands.

Aransi, while addressing the students, pleaded with them to let peace reign, assuring them that the management would address their concerns.

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