The management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-ife, has accused some individuals of ‘criminally poisoning’ the institution’s dam.
The dam provides water to the OAU community of over 30,000 students and staff.
The management said as a result, the campus is endangered by the activity of those it described as land-grabbers. It claimed they forcefully gained access to the dam by overpowering the security official on duty, O.A Omotosho.
The university, which named one of the attackers as Idowu Ogunwusi (alias Dagunduro), claimed the group freely used dangerous weapons including guns, cutlasses and axes during the attack.
The university made the allegation in a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police in Osun State and signed by its Vice-Chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede, a professor.
The petition, which was obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, was also copied to the state director of security service and the area commander of Moore Area Command in Ile-ife.
The incident, the university claims, occurred at about 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3. It said those involved described themselves as members of a non-existent Great Ife Development Board.
The petition, which was entitled; “Complaint of Criminal Pollution of Opa Dam, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife,” noted that the assailants gained access to the dam through a portion of the university land adjoining Parakin Area.
The petition reads in part; “I wish to formally make a complaint of criminal pollution of Opa Dam in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife by some murderous members of the Ife Community.
“On 3rd April 2019 at about 1500hours, a report of invasion and pollution of the University Dam by a group of people who claimed to be members of Great Ife Development Board was received by the Security Unit of the University. The group of people who were fully armed with guns, axes, cutlasses, e.t.c, invaded the lower level of O.A.U dam and polluted the water with chemicals which led to the death of several fishes and other aquatic animals. The report also indicated that these criminally minded individuals gained access into the dam through a portion of University land at Parakin area, Ile-Ife, where there had been several reports of land encroachment by some Ife indigenes.
“The suspected culprits threatened the University Security Operative manning the area, Mr. O. A. Omotosho, with guns and some other dangerous weapons. They however escaped on sighting reinforcement from the University Security Department. Fortunately, one of the ringleaders of the invaders, Mr. Idowu Ogunwusi, alias DAGUNDURO, was identified by the University Security men sent as reinforcement.”
According to the university, the affected dam is the only source of water supply to the entire OAU community with a population of more than 30,000 people.
It added; “The action of these people therefore poses serious danger to the health and lives of staff, students and other members of the university community.
“It is important to also mention that this is the first time in the entire history of the university that this murderous conduct will happen. The people gained unlawful access into the University Dam through a portion of University land adjoining Parakin Area in Ile-Ife. It will interest the Commissioner that the said land, although clearly gazetted as university land and on which the university had exercised ownership for decades without let or hindrance, was forcefully broken into by the same set of people earlier this year. As a law-abiding federal government agency, the university has refrained from engaging the trespassers in their brigandage. These individuals have threatened to kill anyone who dares to challenge their action. It is clear, from all indications, that the criminal poisoning of the university dam is a continuation and actualisation of their threat.
“Considering the far-reaching consequences of the action of these people to the lives of the members of the university community, and the attendant propensity to lead to the breach of the peace of the university, it is necessary to act swiftly to deal with this clear criminal conduct. The Commissioner would recall that students of the University resumed this week for the 2018/2019 academic session. I therefore urge you to use your good offices to apprehend the perpetrators of this dastardly act.”
When PREMIUM TIMES called the Public Relations Officer of the institution to confirm the authenticity of the petition, he confirmed it but queried how it leaked.
He said the matter had been handed over to the police and that appropriate steps had been taken to avert outbreak of water-related diseases on the campus.
Efforts to speak to Moses Olafare, the spokesperson to the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi, were unsuccessful as several calls made to his phone were unanswered and both SMS and Whatsapp messages sent to him were yet to be replied as at the time of filing this report.
Similarly, the Police Public Relations Officer in Osun State, Folasade Odoro, said she was on a week-leave when our reporter called her on the matter. She, however, promised to send the contact details of her subordinate who is acting as the police spokesperson. She was yet to do so as at the time of this report.
DHQ Announces Arrest of Two More Suspects of Owo Church Massacre
The Defence Headquarters on Thursday said two additional suspected terrorists linked with the Owo attack have been arrested.
The Chief of Defence Staff , General Lucky Irabor, had during a meeting with media executives and editors on Tuesday announced the arrest of some suspected terrorists including the mastermind of Owo attack.
The PUNCH reports that armed men stormed the St Francis Catholic Church, Owo on 5 June 2022 and killed no fewer than 40 worshippers.
However, in a statement on Thursday, the Director of Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor, said the duo of Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris were arrested at the Omialafara (Omulafa), Ose LGA in Ondo State during a joint operation with the DSS, Police .
The statement was titled , ‘Arrest of two additional suspected terrorists in connection with the Owo Catholic Church on June 5,2022.’
It read, “Recall that the Chief of Defence Staff during his parley with media executives and editors yesterday, Tuesday 9 August 2022, informed of the arrest of 4 terrorists among those who carried out the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo on 5 June 2022.
“They were arrested through a combined operation by military and DSS personnel at Eika, Okehi LGA, Kogi State on 1 August 2022. Those arrested include Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa and Auwal Ishaq Onimisi.
“Barely few hours after the disclosure by the CDS of the arrest of four of the Owo Catholic Church attackers, two additional ISWAP terrorists, who were also connected to the attack on the church were apprehended at Omialafara (Omulafa), Ose LGA, Ondo State yesterday, August 9 2022.
“The arrests were made through the collaborative effort by military and DSS personnel. The suspects are Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris. ”
He, however, said that Abdulhaleem, alongside other high profile ISWAP commanders, had previously coordinated attacks on military targets in Okene, Okene LGA, Kogi State , which led to the death of many.
How 12-Year-Old Boy Killed Nigerian Mother in US
A 12-year-old Nigerian boy has killed his mother, Ayobiyi Cook, at their home in Forestdale, Alabama, United States.
According to CBS News, the boy “accidentally discharged a firearm” which struck and killed his 29-year-old mom on Monday.
His father, Djuan, a policeman, was said to be at work when the incident happened.
A statement from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office revealed that the boy had initially lied to detectives about the cause of his mother’s death after cops arrived at the scene some minutes past midnight.
He was reported to have said an intruder broke into the house, shot his mother and fled.
But on further investigation of the killing, he reportedly admitted to killing his mother.
The statement read in part, “The child originally fabricated a story that detectives determined was not possible; the child eventually gave a true account of what happened
“The boy’s family, who he will remain with, has been cooperative. The case will be addressed through the family court system.”
A prior statement by the Jefferson County deputies stated that there had been no forced entry into the home when they arrived at the scene.
It read, “On Saturday, August 6, 2022, at 12:10am, Jefferson County Deputies received a 911 call for help at a residence in the 2400 block of Freemont Avenue in the Forestdale community. Deputies arrived and found a 29-year-old woman deceased on the scene. There appeared to be no forced entry into the home and a man was seen fleeing from the residence shortly before the 911 call was made. Sheriff’s detectives were able to recover evidence on the scene and are continuing to investigate.”
The deceased’s husband, Djuan, in a Facebook post, said Ayobiyi was known as “Yo” or “YoYo.
He wrote, “The funeral arrangements would be held on August 12. Orange was Yo’s favourite colour so feel free to wear it as we celebrate her life.”
Ihedioha Denies Making Statement Against Igbo, Peter Obi
A former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, has denied talking down on the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi.
Some reports had on Monday claimed that Ihedioha had called Obi ‘crafty’, and had asked Igbos to wait till 2031 for Presidency.
However, a statement by Ihedioha’s media aide, Chibuike Onyeukwu, had asked the public to disregard the statement, adding that it was fake news.
The statement dated August 8, 2022 was titled, ‘RE – 2023: Igbos Should Wait Till 2031, Peter Obi is Crafty’.
It read, “Our attention has been drawn to another fake news, with the above caption, circulated in some social media platforms.
“This is one of the many orchestrated efforts by political opponents of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON and their collaborators who are afraid of squaring up against him in the coming elections.
“It is noteworthy that His Excellency did not grant any interview in Abuja or elsewhere as claimed.
“His Excellency is known to acquit himself in the most civil, decent and respectful manner and therefore could not have employed such uncouth words.
“We are aware that the purveyors of these unfounded reports are unrelenting in their desperation to impugn His Excellency’s integrity and reputation.
“The public, therefore, is alerted and indeed advised to kindly ignore and disregard the fake news.”