Enugu – The Police Command in Enugu State has released 29 out of 34 students indiscriminately arrested in Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Agbani near Enugu.

The President of the ESUT Students Union Government (SUG), Mr Donatus Okolieuwa, disclosed the unconditional release of the students to newsmen on Sunday in Enugu. Okolieuwa noted that the students were released on Saturday evening, July 8, by the intervention of the school management, leaders and elders of the state. He said that five of the students were still be held by the Anti Cultism Squad, adding that the police said it would further carried out investigation on the remaining five students on alleged involvement in cult activities. He explained that anti cultism squad stormed the school’s cafeteria, where students eat, relax, engage in recreational activities and charge their phones, shot in the air and started arresting everybody in the cafeteria.

“As the SUG waded into the indiscriminate arrested on Friday, July 7, between 4p.m. and 5p.m. in the institution’s cafeteria; we learnt that the police alleged that they got information that there was cult activity taking place at the cafeteria. “So, the police arrested everybody in the cafeteria and later we were able to establish that they took away 34 students indiscriminately on the allegation of being in a place that they (police) suspected was being used to carry out cult activities.

“The union has zero tolerance for cultism and we do all to ensure it is stamped out. Likewise, the school management lead by our ably Vice Chancellor, Prof Aloysius Okolie, do not tolerate cultism and all its manifestations,” he said. The SUG president said that all seized items belonging to those released had been returned to them, adding that the union would still follow on the case of the remaining five students undergoing investigation by the police.

According to him, we are thankful to all that stood with us, especially our VC, school management, elders and political leaders of the state who ensured that innocent students do not suffer humiliation and intimidation. He, however, said that some of the students got injured in the process of the sudden and forceful indiscriminate arrest, adding that some students that fled the cafeteria vicinity thinking it was unknown gunmen that shot in the air.

Okolieuwa, however, urged the police to carry the school management and SUG along on arrest of student(s) on allegation of any crime or misbehavior in the campus in order to forestall misinterpretation of its positive intention. Several calls and WhatsApp messages sent to the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, to comment on the indiscriminate arrest proved abortive over 20 hours.

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