One of the students killed in the protests of Federal University students, Oye Ekiti, Dada Kehinde, was buried in tears and anguish on Thursday.
During the protest, the Nigerian police were blamed for the death of two students, but refused to assume responsibility.
The victims died from gunshot injuries fired by police officers, eye-witnesses told reporters. Videos were also distributed on social media of police officers shooting to disperse the protesters.
Rather than arrest and prosecute the shooters, however, the police have been arresting students who allegedly manhandled two of its officers.
Mr. Kehinde, a 100-level Crop Science and Horticulture student, was confirmed dead from the wounds he sustained in his eyes from bullets.
He was buried in his home town of Usi Ekiti.
“Initially, we did not want him buried yet. But his family disagreed,” said the Student Union Government’s Public Relations Officer, Omofoye Adetola.
“They want him buried as fast as possible. You know it is not a thing of joy for his corpse to just be there. We went home to see his parents and we spoke at length. We promised them to bring justice. We even spoke with his brother.”
On the other deceased undergraduate, the spokesperson said his burial details would soon be made public.
“He has not been buried yet because of one or two things. We will keep the students updated as things go,” he added.
Meanwhile, the institution’s management set up a panel to investigate the students ‘ protest and the reasons for their death.
The Vice Chancellor, Kayode Soremekun, who set up the 12-member panel, also asked the panel to look into the manner in which the Ekiti State Governor’s wife’s convoy, Bisi Fayemi, was attacked.
This was included in a Thursday press release signed by the institution’s Director of Administration, Olatunbosun Odusanya.
He said the committee was set up to investigate the action’s root cause and avoid future occurrence.
The panel is led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the FUOYE, Abayomi Fasina, while the Secretary is Blessing Eyiolorunpe.
Other members include Paul Ogidi ; Security Officer Dosu Malomo ; Dean of Student Affairs, Mufutaau Ibrahim ; Council Officer, Chika Asoqua ; Nigeria Police Representatives, SSS, Nigeria Student Association, and NSCDC.
The panel was confirmed by the public relations officer of the university, Godfrey Bakje, in an interview with the press. He said the committee will investigate students ‘ death as well.
As a result of the crisis, the school was shut down immediately.
Asuquo Amba, Ekiti State Police Commissioner, said on Thursday that two FUOYE students were detained during the protest in connection with the supposed assault on Mrs Fayemi and her security officials.
Mrs Fayemi said on Wednesday that she did not come into contact with the students personally, suggesting that she had not been assaulted and that she could not have ordered the police to shoot the students.
However, she said that the demonstrators assaulted her convoy.
Speaking with Ado Ekiti reporters on Thursday, Mr Amba said two of his policemen were injured while two police vehicles were burned during the attacks.
“Two persons have been arrested and one of them has confessed to the commission of the crime,” he said.
“When a crime is committed, we don’t fold our arms and watch. Even a civilian can effect arrest if crime is committed in front of him and hand them over to the police.”
The police boss condemned the attack on police officers while performing their statutory responsibilities, stating that it was incorrect for his operatives to be beaten for attempting to restore orderliness.
“It is sad that police are being attacked by criminals and the civilians whom we are protecting are also attacking our people,” he said.
“We won’t rest until the perpetrators of this dastardly attack are arrested and brought to justice.”
Mr Amba gave no indication that his policemen who fired at the students would be identified and prosecuted by the police.
The police had asserted previously that no one had died and that no shot had been fired by their policemen.
The protest of the students turned violent after a police officer, claiming to be one of those attached to the convoy of Mrs Fayemi, slapped the president of the students ‘ union.
The other students protested the slap of their leader and attacked the police officer, witnesses told this reporters.
Then the police fired gunshots to disperse the protesters and shot some of the students, two of whom died in the process.