A 300-level student of Ebonyi State University, Ayogu Evans, has reportedly died while running away from police operatives during a stop-and-search operation.
The State Command of the Nigeria Police Force confirmed the sad development while addressing journalists on Monday, Naija News reports.
Narrating how the incident happened, the spokesperson for the state police command, SP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, said the student was being followed by police officers when he had an accident and died on Saturday, December 2.
Onome said the EBSU student sped off while officers at a checkpoint around Nkaliki Road in Abakaliki, the state capital, tried to carry out a search on him.
According to her, the student of the Department of Sociology was initially rushed to the hospital by passersby but was confirmed dead a few hours later.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity had told journalists, “The people who brought him to the hospital confirmed that he was being chased by the police when he suddenly had an accident and that the police officers that were chasing him ran away after he had the accident.
“They later came back to move his wrecked car to their station at Liberation Estate.”
Reacting, however, Onome said the officers pursuing the student did not flee after the incident as claimed by the people. She insisted that the victim was taken to the hospital by well-wishers before their officers arrived and towed the vehicle to the division station.
The police spokesperson said: “On December 2, 2023, around 12noon, police operatives on stop-and-search around Nkaliki Road sighted a vehicle that was approaching their checkpoint but suddenly reversed and sped off.
“The action of the driver (Evans) raised suspicion among the police operatives, which made them pursue the vehicle. The driver did not stop till he was involved in an accident along Oriuzor Road.
“Traffic officers were alerted and with the effort of good citizens, the victim, Ayogu Evans, a student of Ebonyi State University, was conveyed to the hospital where he unfortunately gave up the ghost.
“The Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Command, CP Augustina Ogbodo, immediately addressed the student leaders and assured them that their concerns would be thoroughly investigated and anyone found culpable would be sanctioned accordingly.
“The commissioner of police is using this medium to encourage the citizens to support the police while they carry out their mandate and to report any unprofessional conduct of police officers on duty to the police authority while assuring the public that disciplinary actions will be taken against any erring police officer.”