Some students of the Tai Solarin College of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, Ogun State, arrested by men of the Nigerian Army from Ilese Barracks, have reportedly been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibadan zonal office.
Crisis erupted, Thursday, when the military men accosted the students in their cars around Conoil filling station along the Lagos-Benin highway; they were arrested and detained for days.
Efforts by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Wole Banjo, to get the students released were unsuccessful, even as he claimed he did not know why they were arrested by the soldiers.
On Friday, students of TASUED embarked on a protest, demanding the unconditional release of their colleagues.
As the students engaged the soldiers in a face-off, the management of the university ordered that they should return home until further notice.
In a statement on Sunday, the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Sunday Asefon, berated the Nigerian Army for handing over the students to the EFCC, wondering when the Army turned an arm of the anti-graft agency.
Asefon, while intimating that the Students’ Union President of TASUED, Sodiq Ridwan and four others, who tried to wade into the crisis, have been released, added that others arrested were taken to the EFCC for alleged internet fraud.
The students’ leader recalled issuing a 24-hour ultimatum for the release of the arrested ones on Friday, stating that “the SUG President and four other SUG Executives arrested were released before the expiration of the ultimatum.”
Asefon, who said he did not support internet fraud, held the firm belief that “the Nigerian Army has no business arresting internet fraudsters.”
According to him, the army’s decision to transfer the students to the EFCC was “an afterthought because of the dimension the case has taken.”
He opined that, “the Nigerian Army should be too busy fighting insecurity across the country than pursuing petty criminals and causing unrest in our campuses by creating avoidable and unnecessary drama through an excessive show of force.”
He revealed that an internal individualized enquiry into the allegations would be carried out, assuring that “NANS under my watch will ensure their prompt release if our internal investigation suggests lack of evidence against them.”
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