The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Ahmadu Bello University branch, Zaria has said it has little confidence in the investigation being conducted by the Nigeria Police into the controversial killing of Prof. Ahmed Falaki, who was head of the Institute of Agricultural Research of the university.
The Chairman of the ASUU branch, Dr. Muhammad Aliyu, told our correspondent in a telephone interview that even though the union would not prevent the police from doing its job, it does not expect that the truth will come out of the investigation.
Aliyu said, “We don’t have the confidence that much will come out of the investigation because other cases the police have investigated, nothing has come out of them.
“But we are following up on that and have even requested that the report of the investigation be made available to our union.
“The safety of lecturers in the northern part of the country has been depressing. Every day, we go out and are treated badly by either policemen or soldiers. Many of us are always physically threatened and sometimes afraid of leaving the campus for many weeks.”
According to reports, Prof. Falaki was killed in a controversial circumstance; one report stated that he was killed on February 15 by the police who labelled him a terrorist, having gone to the Kibiya Police Station in Kano to give a statement about his vehicle snatched by Boko Haram insurgents.
But the police had denied it, stating that he was killed by an irate mob who labelled the professor and his companion as Boko Haram members.
Meanwhile, ASUU had threatened to go on nationwide strike if the police did not take an urgent action to bring the don’s killers to book even as the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, had ordered an “in-depth forensic investigation” into the professor’s death.
Aliyu told Saturday PUNCH that Falaki, who was aged 64 at his death, was a senior professor who spent more than 35 years as a lecturer at ABU.
“Everybody is downcast about the incident because if people could kill a professor in such a manner, anything can happen to ordinary Nigerians. Nobody is safe if they could kill somebody who had spent more than 35 years producing manpower for the country in such a way,” he said.
He said ASUU had put a request to the police to ensure that a copy of the report of its investigation was provided to the union once completed.
Also, the Nigeria Police spokersperson, Mr. Emmanuel Ojukwu, said some arrests had been made in connection with the killing, adding that the professor’s vehicle had also been recovered in Bauchi State.
He also expressed the IGP’s assurance that “the police will do all it takes to ensure justice, while perpetrators of the unfortunate incident will not go unpunished.”