Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has directed the state police command to identify and arrest the culprits involved in the murder of the slain Ambrose Alli University, AAU students.
Obaseki, who condemned the killing on Saturday, urged the police to ensure that the perpetrators faced the wrath of the law.
The five victims were shot by suspected cultists last Tuesday, after a fight broke out between two persons at a bar located around Judges’s Quarters, in the Esan West Local Government Area of the state.
One of the suspects, who reportedly claimed that his shirt was torn during the fight, angrily stormed out of the bar and allegedly returned later with a group of armed men who murdered the victims.
Among the deceased were a final-year medical student, Anakor Chinedum; the son of a former council chairman, Oselumense Abulu; a corps member, identified as one Ugwi Martha; and one Jerry Omobude.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Johnson Kokumo, had described the incident as a cult-related attack, adding that no fewer than four suspects had been arrested.
But the governor, speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said his administration would not tolerate lawlessness around the university community.
“He (Obaseki) has asked the attorney-general to activate the portions of the law that deals with cultism. A massive manhunt is going on there (in Ekpoma) now.”
Meanwhile, the Students Union Government of the university has commiserated with the families of the deceased.
The SUG, in a statement by its Secretary General, Okun Oyakhire, however, denied reports that the killing resulted from a cult clash.
The statement read in part:
“So far, reports from the Ekpoma Police Division and Civilian Anti-cult Group have not indicated any possible clash between cult groups and also exonerated the victims from any form of cult activities.
“On behalf of the staff and students of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, we sympathise with the families of the victims and pray for the peaceful repose of their souls.”