Police arrest 25 Abia varsity students over cultism
•Exhume body of law student, allegedly murdered during initiation
From CHUKS ONUOHA, Umuahia
Police in Abia yesterday exhumed the body of a 400 level law student of Abia State University, Mr. Obinna Obasi Awa from a shallow grave where he was buried in a farm around the university community settlement in Uturu, Abia State. Obinna Awa, the second son of an Abia-based lawyer, Barrister Awa Obasi, was said to have died after undergoing rigorous ritual exercise, following his intention to join a cult in the school. B
ut in a swift reaction, Obinna’s father said that his son was murdered by those he thought were his friends, who later buried him in a shallow grave. The lawyer, who spoke to Saturday Sun at the premises of the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia, said that his family was initially looking for Obinna as a missing person. “Today is the 15th day since we started looking for him.
We saw him last on January 22, and revelations show that he died the same day they whisked him away. His friends planned, dug grave, tied his hands behind him and killed him, what a world we live in, what a betrayal of friendship? The culprits must be found where ever they are and tried according to the law of the land, otherwise people will keep dying and they would be mistaken for missing people. If not that God made it possible for us to recover his body, we would have still been wondering whether he just died or got missing. My impression is that his close friends took him away and murdered him”, he lamented.
Another source from the campus said that the deceased had returned from the initiation ground complaining that he was feeling very weak and was advised to take glucose, but after drinking it, he complained that he was getting weaker and weaker and one of his friends suggested that he should be taken to hospital and when the Capon heard it, he warned them that no person should try that. At that point, he started breathing loudly and they took him into the inner room, locked the door and increased the volume of the radio set to thehighest point so that passers- by would not hear his groaning.
According to the source, when he eventually died, they took his corpse to the bush at night where they dug a two- feet shallow grave and buried him. The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ambrose Aisabor, who spoke to Saturday Sun, said that before this incident, about 25 students of Abia State University had been arrested and were currently cooling off in the police net awaiting arraignment. “The initial case that was reported was that of a missing person from Abia State University. But during our investigation, we discovered that he was taken out on January 22, by members of Maphites Confraternity.
Those who saw him said he was in company with some cultists, going into the bush, next to the Queens Lodge where he resided. “We arrested two of the cultists initially, one is the son of one Professor Onwuchekwa called, Chiemele, who was his room mate and the other is Okoronkwo Obinna, though they were not there during the initiation exercise, they were not connected with the murder, but they are still cultists and will be prosecuted accordingly.
“We learnt that it was in the course of initiation that they inflicted lots of injuries on him and he gave up the ghost and they went and buried him in a shallow grave. Investigation is still on, at the end of it, we will charge the culprits to court. It is a pure case of murder. But the other two who are involved were the ones that led the police to the place that they buried the deceased. Chiemele and Okoronkwo are members of Maphites Confraternity, but not part of the initiation”, CP Aisbaor said.