I didn’t pour acid on student, was rusticated for Pyrate Confraternity membership — Ize-Iyamu

Osagie Ize-Iyamu

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has denied report which linked him to pouring of acid on a colleague as a student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN).

Rather, he said what happened was that there was an incident on campus, where an unknown student poured acid on another student and he decided to assist the victim together with his colleagues.

He said, they took the victim to the hospital, but when the school set up a panel of inquiry and no one was ready to volunteer the name of the assailant, “the reason they gave was that they expelled us for belonging to a proscribed organisation,” Ize-Iyamu said.

The APC governorship candidate said he didn’t pour acid on a fellow student as a UNIBEN undergraduate, as earlier alleged by former Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

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Ize-Iyamu refuted the Oshiomhole’s claim while featuring in an online television programme in Benin City on Sunday, rather, he said he was the one who drew the attention of the then UNIBEN administration to the incident and plight of a fellow student.

Osbiomhole, who was a former APC chairman, had, during the 2016 governorship electioneering, then, as the Edo State governor campaigning in support of Godwin Obaseki, who was the APC candidate, alleged that Ize-Iyamu, then, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), poured acid on a student.

But Ize-Iyamu, answering questions on the interview programme, said the claim was not true, rather, he ensured the student got first aid treatment, but only for the school authorities to link himself and others to the incident and were rusticated because the identity of the culprit was never known.

Prior to the incident, Ize-Iyamu, said, he had gained admission into the UNINEN in 1980 to study Political Science, but had to change later to law and for his two years rustication from the university, he didn’t graduate until 1986.

Ize-Iyamu narrated his story: “When I was in the university, I was a member of the Pyrates Confraternity. At that time, we didn’t look at it as a cult arrangement but some people were already coming in with tendencies to create problems. We had this very confrontational group and one evening, somebody reported to us that they beat up a final year student who was also close to us and they mentioned the names of those involved, and we said no, this is bad.

“Don’t also forget too that I was a students’ union leader, very prominent in the students’ union congress. So, myself and some persons who heard about this complaint said let’s go and see the people concerned and talk to them.

“We went there and met with the people concerned. They opened the door for us and we were discussing the matter under a very cordial atmosphere only for some people to come in and before we knew it, there was smoke in the whole place and somebody shouted acid and was screaming. It was then I realised that somebody has poured acid on somebody and I quickly rushed to the security post. I brought them in and we took the young man to get first aid treatment.

“Of course, the school set up an inquiry, and the person that was affected admitted that I was the one who brought security agents and that I was able to take him in for medical attention. I asked who poured it and he said he didn’t know.

“He said he knew the face but didn’t know his name and nobody appeared to know the name and the university said since you people don’t want to mention the name, we are going to sanction all of you. Before we knew it, they expelled us.

“The reason they gave was that they expelled us for belonging to a proscribed organisation. But the long and short of it is that we were on it for two years till 1986 when the Senate held a meeting and said these guys have been punished enough, that if you look at the records, they were not the one that committed what happened, so, we were called back, graduated and then went to the Law School.”