Graveyard silence now prevails in Aluu community weeks after four students of the University of Port-Harcourt (UNIPORT) Rivers State, were tortured and burnt to death in the area by an irate mob.
The victims, who were in their early 20s, were identified as Lloyd Mike Doku, 200-level student of Engineering, Ugonna Kelechi Obuzor, 200-level student of Geology, Chiadika London Biringa Ugonna, and Tekena Elkanah, were tortured to death on alleged theft of mobile phone and laptop.
Eyewitnesses told this reporter that the victims were stripped naked and paraded around the town after merciless beating with clubs and sticks, before were doused with fuel and set ablaze.
Friends of the deceased on campus, who spoke with our reporter, refuted the allegation of theft and cultism leveled against them by their killers. They said they were fun-loving young men, who could not hurt a fly.
Our reporter visited Aluu community to dig deeper into the mater but was surprised to discover that the place had turned to a ghost town.
One of the students, who gave his name as Juddy, told our reporter that the fear of the dead had cast ominous fear over the area. They are further terrorized by the mass arrest by the police and the Joint Task Force (JTF).
Some residents of the area said they had experienced several robbery and rape incidents, such that the vigilante group craved for an opportunity to save its face. Speculations were high that the four UNIPORT students could possibly be scapegoats, as no weapon was found on them during their arrest.
Another student, Kosi, said Ugonna was owed an undisclosed sum of money by a student from Aluu community. Several appeals made to recover the money failed, such that he decided to visit the student in his house with his friends to coax him to pay his debt.
It was while they were exchanging words that an unidentified woman in the compound raised an alarm, calling the students thief, the loud cry attracted the vigilante group and they led the four boys away to the slaughter, tore their clothes and beat them into stupor, before setting their bodies on fire.
Since the incident, uneasy calm has prevailed both within and outside the university campus, with heavy presence of security men everywhere.
Nwibe is 100 level student of Physics, with Electronics Engineering, UNIPORT.