Some Lecturers of the University of Benin, on Tuesday afternoon got a close shave with death in the hands of suspected hoodlums who allegedly flogged and attacked them at the disputed residential quarters spreading across the Government Reservation Area (GRA), in Benin City, Edo state.
The members of Academic staff Union of Universities, UNIBEN chapter were on a peaceful protest days after Edo state High court judgment of 16th December last year, directing the state government of the property weeks.
after the attack.
At least two of the Varsity lecturers were allegedly ambushed and flogged by the suspected hoodlums who also damaged four vehicles used to ferry the University teachers to some of the site demolished quarters on airport Road.
Edo state government had challenged the disputed property which was handed over by former Military Governor the defunct Midwestern Region/Bendel states, Brig. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia to solve the staff accommodation problems of the defunct Midwest Institute of technology which became known as University of Benin in 1974.
The peaceful protest came on the sidelines of another protest by some persons believed to be students of the University. The youths were alleged to have held 44-seater commercial bus of the state government marked “comrade bus’’ was hostage for hours in solidarity in solidarity with the affected university teachers.
The youths, who allegedly lost their patients, were said also blocked Benin/Ugbowo-Lagos Road for hours, preventing human and vehicular movement for several hours.
ASUU, University of Benin branch chairman, Dr. Anthony Emina-Monye who confirmed report of the attack, said his members were going to salvage their personal property on airport Road in the state Capital when the hoodlums ordered them not to enter the place.
Emina-Monye said his members resisted and thereafter, the hoodlums beckoned on their colleagues before descending on them.
He alleged that property including automated teller machine (ATM) cards, phones, bags and jewellery were allegedly stolen by the suspected thugs.
One of the victims of assault, Dr. Osuya Obianenue, alleged that he had attempted to escape when the hoodlums came, but, unidentified policeman held him and the thugs pounced on him mercilessly.
According to Obianenue who sustained injury on his wrist, “when I attempted to escape from the quarters, it was a policeman who held me and the thugs started beating me’’.
Immediate past Vice-chancellor of University of Benin, Professor Osayuki Oshodin, who was also forcibly evicted, said `only a man who wants to crash that will do this’’.
The police authorities could not be reached for comments as at the time of filing the report.