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Saturday, 20 October 2012

Fresh killings at UNIPORT’s host community

Barely two weeks after four undergraduates of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) were murdered at Omuokiri-Aluu, three persons including another student of the institution have been shot dead at Choba, one of the university’s host communities.

Also killed in the Thursday night incident were the student’s girlfriend and a young man who had just completed his national service in Port Harcourt.

There is uneasy calm in UNIPORT’s host communities, especially Omuokiri-Aluu, Ikwerre Local Government Area, Rivers State, over threats of reprisals by kinsmen of the four students who were lynched on October 5.

The three latest victims were shot at close range at about 10 pm on Thursday by unknown gunmen driving a sport utility vehicle (SUV).

The names of the victims were unavailable at press time.

It was learnt that the deceased persons had gone out for a drink to celebrate the passing out of the NYSC member , but on their way back rammed into a shop with their car.

It was gathered that the owner of the shop accosted the occupants of the car.

An argument soon ensued between the two parties and in a matter of minutes, the gunmen arrived the scene and opened fire on the trio.

They then zoomed off without taking anything from their victims.

The Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State Police Command, Mr. Ben Ugwuegbulam, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), confirmed the incident, but said he had no details.

The Deputy Registrar (Information) of the university, Dr. Williams Wodi, in a telephone interview yesterday said: “After the protest of October 8, UNIPORT was shut on October 9. I am not in a position to comment on students who ought to be in their parents’ homes. We are awaiting police reaction.”

Meanwhile,Omuokiri-Aluu where four students of UNIPORT were murdered on October 5, is tensed following alleged threats by kinsmen of the murdered students to attack the community.

The victims, Biringa Chiadika Lordson (20), Year Two, Theatre Arts, U2010/1805036; Ugonna Kelechi Obuzor (18), Year Two, Geology, U2010/5565149; Mike Lloyd Toku (19), Year Two, Civil Engineering, U2010/3010094 and Tekena Erikena (20), a Certificate student in the Faculty of Education, were lynched for allegedly stealing mobile phones and laptops.

Spokesman for the umbrella organisation of Aluu Clan, the Ogbakor Aluu, Mr. Garshon Benson, said the threats to attack Omuokiri-Aluu were real.

Benson urged security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities, with a view to preventing further destruction of lives and property.

Two of the lynched students hailed from Okrika in Rivers State.

The murder sparked a massive protest at Choba Junction on the East-West Road on October 9.

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