The University of Port Harcourt, on Monday, confirmed that three of the four persons killed by irate mob on Oct. 5 in Omuokiri village, Rivers, were students of the institutions.
Prof Joseph Ajienka, the university Vice Chancellor, made the confirmation at a news conference in Port Harcourt.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that four persons were on Oct. 5 killed by a mob at Omuokiri village, near the university, for allegedly stealing a laptop and a blackberry handset.
Ajienka said that the students were; Biringa Lordson, a 200-level theatre arts student; Ugonna Obuzor, a 200-level student of Geology; and Mike Toku, 200-evel civil engineering.
He said the fourth victim; Tekena Erikena, had yet to be properly identified.
The vice chancellor said the incident took place in the morning and that the university would contact their families.
He said the university had declared seven days mourning with effect from Oct. 8 in honour of the slain students while the annual students’ week scheduled to start on Oct. 8 had been postponed indefinitely.
‘’As is expected, under the sad circumstance we now found ourselves, the university is in a state of mourning in honour of the murdered students.
‘’As a result, the ongoing 2012 students’ union week , which would have commenced this morning, has been put off indefinitely .
‘’Flags are already being flown at half mast as a mark of honour to the deceased students.
‘’Meanwhile, preemptive security measures have been initiated by authorities of the university to secure lives and property on campus. We can confirm to you that the situation on campus is stable, as a security patrol team has taken charge of the affected area and is also providing security within campus.’’
He urged security agencies to bring the perpetrators of the crime to book and unravel the circumstances that led to the incident.
‘’The authorities of the university of Port Harcourt wish to state in unequivocal terms that nobody has the right to engage in extra-judicial killing or resort to self-help, no matter the level of provocation.’’
He also appealed to the Federal and Rivers state governments to assist the university overcome its encumbrances to enable it have access to enough land for development.
The vice chancellor urged the Federal Government to pay compensation to the host communities whose lands were acquired since 1975 to site the university.
Ajienka said: ‘’If we are unable to quickly sort out this knotty issue of access to land, our developmental efforts would be constrained in the short, medium and long run.’’