Scores of students of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, on Wednesday clashed with men of Special Anti Robbery Squad and burnt their operation vehicle.
PUNCH reports that the confrontation occurred within the university campus when the students prevented the SARS operatives from arresting some students suspected to be engaging in cyber fraud, otherwise known as Yahoo Yahoo.
Some of the eyewitnesses who spoke with our PUNCH on condition of anonymity said trouble started when the team of SARS pursued some students into the campus.
The operatives, it was gathered, suspected those students of engaging in cyber fraud and attempted to arrest them.
They reportedly pursued the students from Ijebu-Ode to the Ijegun campus where the students entered the school and escaped through the help of their colleagues.
It was further gathered that the students blocked the operatives’ vehicle, forcing the operatives to shoot into the air several times to disperse the students.
The students reportedly resisted their colleagues’ arrest, vandalised the Toyota Camry car used as SARS operational vehicle, and then set it ablaze.
A statement obtained by SaharaReporters, signed by the institution’s Students’ Union President, Olamide Adeboun, partly read: “Today, men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) pursued some individuals believed to be students of our school from Ijebu-Ode into the university community.
“This is absolutely wrong irrespective of the basis, the university will never harbour criminals and no criminal will attempt to seek solace in the university, the act is a gross display of unprofessionalism and lack proper training on how to relate with students community.
“The university is an institution on its own; it has working structures to govern its system of operations, it also has well trained security team whose duty it is to maintain our internal security.
“It is at the point of a perceived aggression or an incapability to solve a seeming security challenge within the university that men of the Nigerian police or other security agencies within the country may be invited into the university community by the university management.
“For an ideal society that we preach and crave for, the Students’ Union condemn this act in all senses. It is barbaric, uncalled for and very threatening to our peace on campus.”
However, during our investigation, students of the university complained to our correspondent that they were fed up of police harassment and brutality, especially by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the university community and within Odogbolu and Ijebu-Ode Local Government Areas of Ogun State.