Gunmen storm Unical, kidnapp student, lecturer shot

Chidi Samuel

The state of insecurity in and around Calabar, the capital of cross river state continued this week with the reported abduction by gunmen of Onyebuchi Okwueze, the 24 year old first year student of the department of Banking and Finance and son of the Dean of Graduate School of the University. The incident happened on Wednesday.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Information Officer of the school, Mr Effiong Eyo. According to the statement, “Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers yesterday (Wednesday) stormed the premises of the Dean, Professor Emeka Okwueze who was unavailable at the time of the attack, broke into his house and made away with his Plasma television and his 24 year old son who was the only one at home.

“The gunmen who were said to have begun their operation at about 8.15pm also inflicted injuries on a lecturer in Physics department, Dr. Anthony George and his wife who were driving in and got caught up in the attack. While Dr. George was shot on his right hand, his wife sustained bullet injuries on the left knee. Both are however responding to treatment.

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“Though they made unsuccessful attempts to gain entrance into the stretch of houses accommodating staff within the wing of buildings, the gunmen however smashed the mirror and front tyre of a Mercedes Benz vehicle belonging to a Professor in the College of Medical Sciences, Prof Chucks Ejezie.

“It will be recalled that in the month of May this year, kidnappers invaded the same wing of buildings and took away with them the son of a Deputy Registrar, Barr Ekpenyong Iniama and the wife and daughter of Prof Wilfred Ndifon of the College of Medical Sciences, both were later released.

“In a bid to checkmate future occurrence of the event, the Deputy Chief Security Officer of the Institution, DSP Jarlath Abang disclosed that several security measures were put in place by the management of the institution in conjunction with the Cross River State Government.

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“The measures covered and implemented in the joint initiative include among others , demolition of all shanties at the waterfront by the Cross River State Government,  prohibition of fishing and farming at the water front, displacement of illegal occupants and constant patrol of the quarters both by security operatives on foot and vehicles.

“The Deputy Chief Security Officer attributed the delay in the distress call as a major reason for the kidnappers’ tentative gain.

“The Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Prof Zana Akpagu visited the homes of the Staff who were affected by the attack and commiserated with them over the unfortunate event and assured them of management concern over their welfare and pledged to do all within the purview of his office to ensure the release of those kidnapped and also catch up with the kidnappers.