Four persons have been arrested by the police in Imo State for allegedly attempting to burn the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Imo State.
Parading the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Owerri, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Andrew Enwerem, said the suspects – Bright Onyiriuka, 20; Chijioke Ewurum, 26; Prince Abraham, 22; and Ngozi Tochukwu, 18 – were arrested by operatives of the command with jerrycans of petrol and some tyres.
Also recovered, according to the command’s spokesperson, was a placard with an inscription, ‘Please, Mr. Provost, vacate office for peace to reign.’
Enwerem said, “The suspects were arrested by the operatives of the command on August 7, 2017, at the main gate of the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Imo State, through an intelligence report.
“They were arrested while in possession of jerrycans of petrol, some tyres and a placard with a warning inscription for the provost to vacate his office.”
The PPRO said upon interrogation, the four men allegedly confessed that a man identified simply as Sampson, who was said to be at large, contracted them to set the college on fire in protest of the continued stay in office of the provost, Dr Blessing Ijioma.
The police spokesperson said at the end of investigations, the suspects would be charged for attempted arson, adding that efforts were being intensified to apprehend the mastermind.
One of the suspects, Ewurum, who said Sampson promised to pay them N1,000 each, claimed that they never knew that the assignment was to set the institution on fire.
The Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education has been embroiled in crisis which started after the tenure of the provost was extended by the governing council.
The Joint Action Committee of the college had opposed the development, saying the provost’s tenure could not be extended after her compulsory retirement on August 2, 2017.
The matter had led to a one-week closure of the institution to compel the provost to vacate her office.