Legal Nigeria

Police invite Akpata, Edo LP chairman, over UNIBEN violence, shooting.

Varsity to probe violence

The Edo State Police Command, yesterday, formally invited the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Olumide Akpata, over alleged security breaches, involving shootings at the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ugbowo Campus, last Friday.

The spokesman for the Command, Chidi Nwabuzor, disclosed this to newsmen, saying that the invitation was served on the Senior Advocate by investigators in the political desk section of the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the Command Headquarters, Benin.

He further explained that the invitation was part of an investigation into the crisis by the command.

Also invited is the state chairman of the LP, Kelly Ogbaloi, who confirmed receipt of a police invitation on the issue.

While explaining that he was not in Benin when the letter was delivered, Ogbaloi assured that he would honour the invitation, noting that the incident was Akpata’s private affair, which had nothing to do with the party.

He said: “Akpata is our candidate, but UNIBEN invited him to honour him on a personal note. I didn’t sign surety over his safety there. I don’t know why the police are equally inviting me to come along with him.

“The police ought to have done their background checks; his being honoured by UNIBEN had nothing to do with our party secretariat. So, I don’t know why I am being asked to come along with him to the Police Command Headquarters in Benin. However, I will honour the invitation.”

It would be recalled that the LP governorship candidate had attended an investiture ceremony on the invitation of UNIBEN Staff Club, which turned violent when the venue was invaded by some persons whom Apkata alleged were agents of the state government with the intention to harm him.

Earlier, the management of the university had condemned the violence at the institution’s Senior Staff Club.

A statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Dr Benedicta Ehanire, UNIBEN said:

“The management of the university has condemned, in strong terms, reported violence during the visit of the Edo State Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidate, Olumide Akpata, on invitation by the Senior Staff Club of the institution.

“The violent incident, allegedly perpetrated by some students, is unacceptable.

Consequently, management has set up a committee to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the violent action.

“The committee, headed by Prof. Frederick Ekhaise, was given one week to submit a report to management.”

Source: The Guardian