Police in Edo State have arrested a 300-level Pharmacy student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Esegine Rickson, including a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), a bus driver, and two other persons because of the death of a church member
Some students of UNIBEN have taken to the social media to protest against the detention of their colleague by initiating a#FreeUche campaign following the failure of the police to come out with the autopsy report.
Rickson and others are being detained at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.
The UNIBEN students accused the police of unlawfully detaining their fellow student and others without any proof to show that the suspects were complicit in the death.
They added that the detention had prevented Rickson from sitting for the ongoing exams in the school.
According to PUNCH Metro learnt that the detainees and the unidentified church member had attended a retreat at a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God on Sapele Road, Benin City.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the detainees and the unidentified church member had attended a retreat at a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God on Sapele Road, Benin City.
As they were returning from the service on a bus last Sunday, they reportedly encountered a truck on top speed.
It was gathered that the bus driver zigzagged to avert a collision with the truck.
In the ensuing confusion, a phone was said to have fallen from the unnamed church member, who was also said to have attended the retreat.
“Uche picked up the mobile phone, and tried to return it to the presumed owner, a fellow church member and passenger in the vehicle. He, however, noticed bloodstains on the phone.
“He realised that the passenger was bleeding from the mouth and head and immediately informed the driver. The bleeding passenger was rushed to the Central Hospital, Benin City, as it was the closest. But they were immediately redirected to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital without being attended to.
“At the UBTH, the injured passenger was immediately admitted and placed on oxygen as he had already gone into a critical stage. However, all efforts to save him proved abortive; he eventually died. All the while, his parents had been in the UBTH to witness efforts to revive their son,” one of the students, Ezekiel Efeobhokhan, wrote on Facebook.
Efeobhokhan stated that the family of the deceased reported the death at the BDPA Police Station the following day and the police invited Rickson, the bus driver, the pastor, a church elder and a church member to the station.
“But they were all unjustly detained without any warrant of arrest or evidence of murder. Uche (Rickson) has been there since Monday July 3, 2017. He has been ‘imprisoned’ without any evidence of murder or warrant of arrest. Bail applications have been refused. No autopsy or anything has been carried out. This is unjust and inhuman. Uche is a student and his exams began July 10, 2017,” he added.
The Dean of Students’ Affairs, UNIBEN, Prof. Benson Osadolor, said the school authorities had weighed in on the matter to secure the release of Rickson on bail.