A final year student of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, identified as Okoli Ahize Chizoputam, was reportedly beaten to death over allegation of phone theft.
Sources told Punch that the Engineering student was severely beaten after being accused of stealing a mobile phone in Awo Hall on Monday, April 10, 2023.
His health deteriorated due to the beating he received and he was rushed to the OAU Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, where he was confirmed dead on Tuesday afternoon, April 11.
The university’s Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olanrewaju, confirmed the death of the student, adding that investigation is ongoing.
“A student died and the management is investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. We will make our position known after investigation,” he stated.
However, the President of Great Ife Students’ Union, Folahan Olayiwola, in a statement said the deceased was assaulted by a mob at Awo Hall on Monday and was later declared dead on arrival at the OAU Teaching Hospital.
“I regret to announce the death of a Part 5 student assaulted in a mob action at Awo Hall on Monday. The student was declared dead on arrival at the Emergency Medicine Department of OAU Teaching Hospital this (Tuesday) afternoon,” Olayiwola said.
“Preliminary investigations show that the deceased was accused to have stolen a phone. While we await an official report from the law enforcement agencies, I must state that this incident is a very sad one for Great Ife Students’ Union because our union is not a union of barbarians but that of intellectuals.
“Arrests and investigations of individuals suspected to be connected with the assault of the deceased are being made for consequent legal actions. Our union does not support mob actions and justice must be served in this incident. Pending investigations of this unfortunate development, the activities of the Hall Executive Council of Awo Hall are suspended immediately.”
Olayiwola, who described the incident as most inhumane, insisted that justice must be served accordingly irrespective of those involved.
“Mob actions are banned and not allowed on the OAU campus! I reassure Great Ife students that the union is working assiduously with the school authorities and the relevant law enforcement officers to make sure that justice is meted out appropriately,” he added.