The University of Port Harcourt has reacted to reports in the media that Ifeanyi Dike, a suspected murderer who is on the run, is a 200-level Physics student of the university.
Mr. Dike escaped Saturday from police custody at the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Port Harcourt, few hours after he was arrested by the local vigilante and handed over to the police.
He was caught with a bag containing the body of an eight-year-old girl, Chikamso Victory, while he was attempting to dispose of it after he allegedly cut off the girl’s vagina, fingers, breasts, and tongue, apparently for a ritual purpose.
The suspect was also said to have raped the girl before killing her.
The spokesperson of Uniport, Williams Wodi, told PREMIUM TIMES, Thursday, “We are not yet been able to find such a name in the Physics Department.
“We are widening the check to include all the departments in the Faculty of Science.”
Mr. Wodi said the university was also investigating how the suspected murderer was linked with the university.
“There are three modes of entering the university – either you enter it through the direct entry, or you write UME, or you do basic studies. Those are the three modes. The fourth one is the illegal admission which we occasionally encounter. So, we don’t know which mode he entered Uniport.
“We have not been able to expressly identify him as a student of Uniport, but the rumour is wide-spread and once we are able to verify that he is a student of any department, which of course we doubt, we will put that in the public domain,” he said.
When asked if the university was feeling embarrassed to be linked with the fleeing suspect, Mr. Wodi responded, “Universities in Nigeria are usually identified with (this kind of) act.
“You know people like to sell stories by linking them with something that is very visible like a brand name. We are used to it.
“About three years ago there was a rumour that two ladies (were) drowned at the waterfront and that they were students of Uniport. When we got to the place we found out that they were carrying identity cards linking them to departments and faculty that didn’t exist in Uniport by the time they were making the claims.
“So, these things happen all the times.
“People print identity cards to make them marketable, to make them respectable, while they engage in some nefarious acts. It happens to (all) universities, not just our own.
“But then the act itself is condemnable whether it was perpetrated by a Uniport student or by any other person for that matter,” said Mr. Wodi.