Police deny killing during protest at TASCE

Abeokuta – The Ogun State Police Command says no student was killed by its men during a protest by students of Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu-Ijebu on April 10.

But Dr Abiodun Ojo, the Provost, Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu, Ijebu, on Friday confirmed that only one student lost his life during a recent protest by the students.

The Command’s spokesperson, Mr Muyiwa Adejobi, said in Abeokuta on Friday that the protest took place and ended with no life lost.

The  leaders of the institution’s students union had on Friday alleged at the state’s House of Assembly that police killed five of their colleagues during the protest.

Adejobi however said “the Command was taken aback to hear such a disgusting rumour.

“We hereby reiterate that no single student was killed by the police during the protest.

“The allegations by the students at the House of Assembly were just to appeal to sentiment and for other reasons known to them.’’

He said the Police Command was therefore appealing to the general public to disregard the allegations.

“It is an unfounded and baseless rumour and a calculated attempt to create tension in the state,’’ the Police PRO said.

Provost confirms one killed during students’ protest

But Dr Abiodun Ojo, the Provost, Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu, Ijebu, on Friday confirmed that only one student lost his life during a recent protest by the students.

Ojo made this known in Abeokuta during a meeting with members of the state House of Assembly Committee on Education, suspended Students’ Union executive members and officials of the institution.

The officials of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology were also in attendance.

He said that 46 students were initially arrested by the police during the protest and that 40 had since been released.

“The institution also expelled 26 students because of their involvement in the protest,’’ he said.

Addressing the committee, the President of the suspended Students’ Union, Mr Rotimi Oluwasegun, also confirmed that only one student died.

Oluwasegun said that the students embarked on the protest because of the school authority’s refusal to allow over 50 per cent of the 200 level students to write examination over the  non-payment of tuition fees.

Oluwasegun explained that an attempt by fellow students to prevent the DPO of Odogbolu Police Station from taking the union’s president away, led to chaos.

According to him, the police officer fell down and his vehicle was smashed by the protesting students.

He further said that this development triggered reinforcement by the police authority to douse tension, the process of which led to the death of the student, Aromasodun Rasaq.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Mr Adeyinka Mafe, said that the incident could have been avoided.

He said that the unruly behaviour of the students led to the death of the student, the injury sustained by the DPO and the damage of his car.

“No life would have been lost, if the students had been more cautious,” he said.

He, however, advised that in future, policemen should be more professional, use rubber and not real bullets to disperse protesting students.

He charged students to always avoid anything that could lead to the breakdown of law and order.

Mafe added that the account of the student leader had shown that the state government did not order the police to open fire on the students as believed in some quarters.

The lawmaker also requested the school authority to clarify that the students whose names were initially broadcast were not cultists.

He then urged the police to release on bail, the remaining six students in their custody, adding that the the committee would soon make its report known to the public. (NAN)

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