The first duty of the police is to maintain law and order in a state not behave unlawfully or cause disorder in the state. The students of Imo State University are faced with academic, feeding and security hustles and now, we are faced with improper arrests and forceful violation of freedom without proper situation analysis and investigation.
The police cannot keep arresting students carelessly based on a tip-off or if they were offered money to do such. If nothing incriminating is found with the student at the point of apprehension, what then could be the reason for making an arrest even without asking for the student’s identity card, the police could pick up any student on the road and throw him or her in a cell. This has to stop as students of Imo State University cannot take it anymore. The arrest of over 20 students both male and female holding a faculty meeting along Okigwe Road without reason only proves the inefficiency of the police in Imo State. These students were not put in detention but thrown into a cell with prisoners until the next day when the chaplain of Chapel of the Holy Spirit, IMSU, the Chief Security Officer, IMSU and the University Electoral Committee Chairman had to intervene and seek for the release of the students.
The unscrupulous release of tear gas by the police in Okwu-Uratta Students Alliance – an off campus location for students on an unreasonable basis only goes to show how ineffective and deadly the police which is meant to protect students have become. What if a student running from the tear gas was shot in the process? What if an innocent student standing around has asthma? There is no excuse for careless behaviour by the police as a reasonable level of training should have been undergone by the police before being put on the field.
No, you cannot throw a student into a cell full of prisoners if you don’t find anything on him and he has his identity card. No, you cannot shoot your guns sporadically or throw tear gas in a student’s environment. No, you cannot arrest students and not allow them make calls to tell their family and friends where they are. No, you cannot arrest a student if you have been paid to do that. No, you cannot arrest a student who have lawfully done nothing and allow him sleep in one of your unkempt and amazingly dirty prison cells while you go home to your family and sleep on a clean bed. Yes, you can arrest students caught with incriminating materials. Yes, you can arrest student’s that disturb the peace of other students. Yes, you can arrest and detain a student who is disobeying law and order and cannot prove that he is a student by identity or representation.
Money should not be the first priority of the police in the state especially when it concerns students who from every investigation if done properly are innocent of accused crimes. Rather than apprehend cultist’s and armed robbers disturbing the peace of students off campus and on campus, the police find joy in making easy arrests that does not involve gunfights or stress for the purpose of extortion of their innocent victims who are our students. This issue has gone out of hand and something has to be done by the university administration currently led by Prof. Ada Obasi the Ag. Vice Chancellor of the university especially the Imo State Government being that His Excellency, Owelle Anayo Okorocha is the visitor to the university.
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