Non-academic staff of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) yesterday protested against the arrest of their Chairman, Paul Arua and his two sons by the Police in Enugu.
Consequently, students and visitors to the university were restricted from entering the institution’s premises following the closure of the major gates by the striking non-teaching staff.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed Arua’s arrest, however, said it was as a result of vandalisation of the university property.“Arua was arrested by police on report of vandalism from the university by striking non-teaching staff. Police has started investigating the matter and he will be released if he is innocent of the allegations against him.
“He was not arrested because he personally committed any crime but because he is the leader of non-teaching staff in UNN,” he said.
The non-teaching staff of the university comprising Senior Staff Association of Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) numbering over 2,000 locked up the gates of the university as early as 7am and refused staff, students and visitors from going in and out of the institution.
Treasurer of JAC-UNN, Moses Akata, said they decided to close the gate of the university gates following the action of the police whom he said, broke into Arua’s residence and arrested him with his two sons.
He stated that the gates would remain under lock and key until Arua was released, adding, “as we do not know his whereabouts. The strike is nationwide, we do not know why our chairman will be singled out for arrest.”
Akata alleged that the Vice Chancellor of UNN Prof Benjamin Ozumba, was responsible for Arua’s arrest, as he had threatened several times to deal with the leadership of non-academic staff union in the university.
When contacted, Ozumba denied involvement in Arua’s arrest, saying: “I did not arrest Arua. The union should go to police and find out what he did that led to his arrest.”