“I want to announce that we have made a breakthrough in the Aluu killings. The two main suspects in the case have been arrested and they will be prosecuted.”
The above was police on Tuesday announced a major breakthrough in their investigation into the lynching of four University of Port Harcourt students. The Inspector General of Police disclosed the arrest during a security meeting with Chief Executive Officers and security officers of banks at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The arrest brings the number of suspects arrested by the police to 23 in the videotaped lynching of the four innocent students which sparked outrage nationwide after the clip of the killings went viral on the Internet.
The police has named Coxson Lucky, alias Bright, as the mastermind of the lynching. Lucky, who owe one of the students an undisclosed sum of money, reportedly raised the alarm that the students were robbers when they went to his house to demand for the money. The mob, which converged on the venue of the altercation, then beat and burn the students to death.
However, two of the suspects, who admitted taking part in the mob action, claimed that their involvement was “minimal”. While the first suspect, David Chinasa Ugbaje, said he only hit the students twice, another suspect, Ikechukwu Loius Amadi, claimed that he only beat the students once with a small stick.
Ugbaje, who said he was a cobbler, described one of the students as his customer. He said, “Around 7am on that day, I saw a crowd beating four boys. I asked who the four men were and they (crowd) said they were armed robbers. So, along the line, we went there. I opened the gate and they entered. I could not control the crowd. They pointed at one of our co-tenants; the name of the person is Bright.
“Some people said they wanted to break Bright’s door. So, they started beating the boys very seriously. They took them out from my street. I now left the house. I only beat them twice.”
Ugbaje disclosed that while one policeman at the scene of the incident pleaded with the mob to hand over the students to them, another beat the students. “Along the line, two policemen arrived. One of the policemen was pleading (for the boys), the other one joined in beating the boys. After beating the boys, the police now said the boys should be handed over to them. The crowd shouted, ‘We no go gree, we no go gree,” he said.
The killed students have been identified by the management of the university as 19-year-old Lloyd Toku ( 200 level Civil Engineering); 18-year-old Ugonna Obuzor (200 level Geology student); 20-year-old Chiadika Biringa, (200 level Theatre Arts student); and Tekena Erikena, a 20-year-old a diploma (Technical) student.