Tears flowed freely last week as friends and colleagues of the late Tosin Osatuyi, a final year student of Yabatech College Education, allegedly killed in a fight, narrated how he was murdered.
The Civil Engineering (HND 2) student, popularly known as Moore, was allegedly murdered while celebrating his final examinations on July 28.
Deputy Registrar of the institution, Mr. Joe Ejiofor, had, on Tuesday, disclosed that the fight, which broke out among Osatuyi and his peers, occurred outside the college premises, having concluded their examination and left the vicinity.
But colleagues of the deceased, who gathered on Tuesday evening for a candlelight procession in his memory, said he was gruesomely murdered.
Two of his friends told The Guardian, in confidence, that the incident, which occurred on July 28, was an act of intended murder, which must be investigated.
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One said the student died in a fight while celebrating his final examinations at a sports viewing centre known as the Lions’ Den in Tejuosho, Yaba, Lagos.
He said: “On the day after our examinations, he signed on my shirt because we have been friends since our National Diploma (ND) days. After signing, he left with other students to a spot that houses a betting centre, called The Lions’ Den in Yaba.
“It was not long when the news came that he had been murdered. Either by error or not, the action seemed intended and I really don’t know if he and other friends were drunk on that day.”
Another of his friends from the Electrical Electronic Engineering Department said he was a good friend to him and that although the school didn’t approve the candlelight procession, students were forced to hold it in defiance of the school authority on Tuesday.
He added that Osatuyi was injured in the process of celebration, and died when rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, where efforts to save his life proved abortive.
According to a report, a colleague said friends of Osatuyi had raised money for an autopsy to be done, but his parents had reportedly rejected the idea.
When The Guardian visited the viewing lounge known as The Lions’ Den last week, the Chief Security Officer stated that nothing happened on the premises and that he was not aware of the incident which claimed the life of a student.
Meanwhile, traders and commercial motorcycle operators in the area confirmed to The Guardian that a fight broke out last week among some students in the lounge, but was not aware if anyone died.
A motorcycle operator said: “This place was not in good shape last week. Everybody ran to different positions because it was a serious fight among youths there. I do not know if later someone died in the fight.
Another trader said: “We saw people running with bloodstains.”
During a visit to the Deputy Registrar and Head of Public Relations of the institution, Mr. Joe Ejiofor, while commiserating with friends and family of the deceased, he said the school management was not aware of the event that led to his death as the parents of the late Osatuyi had not reported the incident to the school.
When asked if the police had been informed, he said since the incident occurred outside the school premises and no one is sure whether those involved are students of the institution, the management could not take responsibility for the situation.
While he described the incident as tragic and unfortunate, he said the college was a sane environment that did not allow parties on campus to avoid fights or disorderliness.
“We sincerely sympathise with the family of the deceased over the tragic death. It was unfortunate and painful for someone who had toiled to earn a certificate for four years just to die in such circumstances.
“The students, on finishing their examination that day, went celebrating outside. So, the said fight that led to Osatuyi’s death did not happen on the premises. We do not even have control over any activity that goes on outside this place. So, there was no way we could have known how to deal with that because if it is within the school here, we do not allow people to drink.
“After examinations, you will see our security men patrolling the whole campus because we know students are hyperactive. We allow them to sing and dance, but do not allow them to do that on top of their voices,” he said.
Meanwhile, he revealed that some students had approached the Dean of Students Affairs, Mr. Tunji Balogun, seeking permission to organise a candlelight procession in honour of the deceased, which was turned down. He said he was not aware that a candlelight procession was later held.
The deceased, an Ondo indigene, who was buried on July 30 in his hometown, was the class governor of the graduating Civil Engineering students of the institution.