By Desmond Ejibas
Port Harcourt – The University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) on Wednesday identified a 200-level student (names withheld), of the Department of Physics, as the suspect who dismembered his 8-year old niece, for ritual purposes.
The university confirmed the identity, via a statement issued on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, by Dr Williams Wodi, UNIPORT’s spokesman.
The suspect was accused of abducting, raping, killing and dismembering the body of his 8-year-old niece, Chikamso Nmezuwuba, on Aug. 19 for ritual purposes.
The suspect was arrested by members of a vigilance group in the Eliozu area in Port Harcourt, while he was on the way to dispose the body of Chikamso, after using other parts of her body for ritual.
The suspect was handed over to the Rivers Police Command but escaped while in police detention.
Wodi said the management of the university was worried with the development particularly the disappearance of the suspect from detention.
“Any university administration and indeed all Nigerians should be very concerned about having students in any of our universities who turn out to be suspected ritual murderers.
“The university is working tirelessly with law enforcement to fish out and bring to speedy justice such dubiously motivated characters who masquerade as student.
“UNIPORT is working in concert with security agencies with focus to re-arrest and bring the suspect to book to serve as deterrent to any other student with similar intent.
“We condole with the traumatised family of Chikamso and pray for eternal repose of her soul while hoping for speedy justice to punish the offender,” he said.
Wodi said the university cannot be adjudged guilty by mere fact that the suspected ritual killer is a student of the university.
He said the university should be exonerated from blame as the crime was committed outside the university campus and host communities.
According to him, the Senate of the university would take appropriate steps to deal with the student as prescribed by its statutes.
“We advise the public to direct further inquiries on this highly emotive and sensitive issue to the police that is already investigating the matter and the suspect’s unacceptable escape from custody.
“We wish to state that branding UNIPORT through distasteful media campaigns, especially by social media warriors, will be disrespectful of the memory of the murdered child,” he said.