Cult war: Two UniCal Students on the Run, 11 Arrested

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 …Cult Materials, Charms Recovered in Hostel

The last has not been heard of the cult war which ravaged the University of Calabar (UniCal) last weekend as two final year students, identified as Augustine Ebri Nkanu (aka Abacha) and Obimbua Obey Joseph (aka Obe), are on the run after assorted cult materials and dangerous weapons were reportedly recovered in their hostels.

A press statement from the office of the public relation officer of the University, made available to our reporter, said eleven other suspected cultists have been arrested and were being detained by the Police.

The release read in part: “a final year student of the Faculty of Law and resident of Hall 4, Nkanu, Augustine Ebri (Abacha) and Obimbua Obey Joseph (AKA: Obe), also a final year student of the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences are on the run following the discovery of dangerous items in Nkanu’s room by operatives of the security unit of the University.

“Items recovered from the room include one locally made pistol, one small axe, one face mask, live and expended cartridges, military camouflage, military sweater, one long dagger, one machete, assorted bottles of concoctions, charms/finger rings, assorted phones, dult regalia, Drugs/wraps of Indian hemp and a host of others. The dangerous items have been handed over to the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Nigeria Police, Cross River State command for further investigation.”

The release disclosed that due to the volatile security situation in the University environment, the varsity’s management “has deployed heavy and intense security around and within the institution following the killing of two students by gunmen in a suspected renewed wave of secret cult groups clash on campus.”

It added: “Besides the directives of the Vice Chancellor as Head of management that Police patrol teams be stationed at the main gate of the institution and the Internal Security Team at other strategic parts of campus, random stop and search of persons and vehicles at vulnerable point is being vigorously intensified.

“A release issued by the Registrar of the Institution, Mr. Moses Abang indicates that the patrolling/combing exercise has paid off with the arrest of 11 suspected cultists who have been handed over to the Anti-Cultism/ Kidnapping Unit of the Nigeria Police, Cross River State Command for further interrogation.”

The university authorities went further to explain that on March 16, 2018, “gunmen launched unsuspecting attacks on one Oko Sylvester Ayide (aka Davido), a final year student of the Department of Theatre, Film and Carnival Studies, University of Calabar and Wilson Augustine Ebina, a 2nd year student of the Department of Education Science (Chem Edu.) in a violent manner that resulted in their death.

“Investigation revealed that prior to his death, Oko Sylvester, who was shot on the stomach has been on suspension for his involvement in various acts of cultism and robbery while Wilson Ebina was shot dead at a building under construction opposite the Faculty of Education Twin Theatre Hall. Both are said to belong to the Vikings Confraternity.”

Recall that the cult fight became violent last weekend with reported gunning down of three students. However, spokesman for the Cross River state police command, Irene Ugbo, claimed that only one student died.

When our reporter visited the troubled institution on Tuesday morning, peace seemed to have returned as students and staff were seen continuing in their normal activities even as both uniformed and plain clothes security personnel, were seen lurking in corners and monitoring developments.

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