May 20, 2024

Air Force officers kill Federal poly lecturer ‘for not identifying self’, academic union kicks [photos]

Nigerian Air Force personnel attached to the 211 Regiment of the NAF Base, Neze, Imo State, have shot dead a Computer Science lecturer of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede in Imo State, Okonye Nduka.

It was learnt that Nduka was killed by the trigger-happy military personnel while he was returning from a church programme last Monday and the officers stopped him on the highway.

It was gathered that the military personnel thereafter shot the lecturer dead on the excuse that he refused to identify himself.

Apart from Nduka, they also shot dead a former student of the polytechnic who was with the lecturer in the same vehicle.

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, while strongly condemning the action of the military men, has called for an investigation into the killing of its member, Nduka.

ASUP on Thursday in a statement by its Zone D Coordinator, Comrade Precious Nwakodo, also asked for the relocation of the NAF Base currently located close to the institution, saying the excesses of the military men had been a source of worry and conflict within the polytechnic community.

“The zonal secretariat of ASUP Zone D has received reports of the killing of a member of the union from Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Comrade Okonye Nduka.

“The killing of Comrade Okonye, who was until his death a lecturer at the Computer Science Department of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, was reportedly carried out by armed men suspected to be from the NAF 211 Regiment Group Base in Neze, Owerri.

“Comrade Okonye was reportedly gunned down by the trigger-happy men along with an ex-student of the same polytechnic as they were on their way back from a church programme.

“The killing of our member is a brutal reminder of the stained reputation of security agents in the country, particularly in the area of extrajudicial killings,” the union said.

The union said it was not satisfied with the “excuses of mistaken identity” saying that Comrade Okonye and the other occupants of his vehicle were unarmed and never resisted arrest when the trigger-happy officers pointed guns at them.

“The killing of Comrade Okonye, a budding academic by these men cannot be swept under the carpet as the polytechnic community, as well as the people of Ukwuani in Delta State, have been robbed of the contributions of this young comrade to society particularly in his area of professional competence.

“The union is therefore calling on the government to institute a full scale “no holds barred” investigation into the killing of our comrade and his friend through an investigative panel, the unveiling of these gunmen and their prosecution to serve as a deterrent to others who are in the business of molesting and killing harmless unarmed citizens for fun.

“The union is equally demanding compensation for the families of our fallen comrade and his friend as the families have been deprived of their breadwinners in such avoidable and unacceptable circumstances.

“ASUP also called for the relocation of the 211 Regiment group, Air Force base currently located close to the institution as the excesses of the soldiers have been a constant source of the conflict between the soldiers and the polytechnic community.

“We are convinced that the current location of the base and its proximity to the polytechnic community is an error that must be corrected to forestall future killings as the soldiers have on several occasions have been reported to have overstepped their bounds by molesting citizens without provocation,” the union added.