- Another shot death at varsity main gate
By Gabriel Dike
The 48th convocation ceremonies of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) ended on a tragedy note as one of the entourage of the new university Chancellor and the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar El-Ekanemi was burnt to death in an early hour Wednesday fire incident at the Guest House.
Another person was allegedly shot death in front of the university main gate by security personnel after a disagreement.
Daily Sun gathered that the early Wednesday inferno burnt to death the former Borno State Auditor General (AG), Mallam Abbah Kyari who was part of the entourage of the new UNILAG chancellor, Alhaji El-Ekanemi, Shehu of Borno.
The corps of the former AG has been transported to Borno state for burial while others that were injured trying to escape the fire are being treated at a hospital.
According to a senior management staff source, the late Kyari died around 2am on Wednesday, when there was a power surge in room A812 where he was lodged at the guest house.
“The death didn’t just happen today. It occurred very early Wednesday morning at the guest house. The inferno also gutted four other rooms A813, A814, A815 and A816.
There was another angle to what caused the fire as some staff alleged it was as a result of an unquenched lit cigarette.
The new chancellor had arrived the university at about 5pm on Tuesday and was lodged at the chancellor’s behind lagoon but when the place could not accommodate the whole of his entourage and Kyari, among others, were taken to the guest house where the sad incident eventually occurred.
The senior staff told our Correspondent that the corps had been transported back to Maiduguri, Borno State capital, where he would likely be buried this afternoon (Thursday).
As at the time of filing this report, both the university management and the palace of the Shehu of Borno are still keeping mum over the fire tragedy. A staff of at the Information Unit said the university has not issued statement on the incident thus can’t speak to newsmen.
When our Correspondent visited the guest house opposite the Faculty of Business Administration staffs were seen cleaning the affected rooms while there was no sign of electricity to the entire areas.
One of them revealed that about 12 entourage of the Shehu of Borno were in the affected rooms when the fire started at around 2am and some of them escaped through the windows while others managed to run through the door.
It took over three hours for staff and UNILAG fire fighters to bring the inferno under control and Kyari charred body was found in room A812 while the injured were first rushed to the university clinic.
Our Correspondent saw burnt mattresses, pillows, beds, AC, chairs and tables in the rooms with room A812 where Kyari started worse affected as everything in his room was burnt to ashes.
Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASMA) were spoted at the guest house and they confirmed the death and that they came to assess the situation.
The security personnel broke the sad news to the Vice Chancellor, Prof Rahamon Bello who in turn informed the Pro-chancellor and chairman, governing council of UNILAG, Prof Jerry Gana but it was not clear who broke the sad new to the Shehu of Borno.
On the death of the yet to be identified man shot at the main gate of the university on Wednesday, the management also kept sealed lips over the incident.
Source told our Correspondent that the man was in a car with a friend and an argument ensued between him and security personnel before he was shot death.
UNILAG security personnel disclosed that because of the presence of dignitaries on campus, security was beefed up at the two gates and people were scrutinized before being allowed into the campus but could not explain what led the disagreement and the shooting.
The VC of UNILAG, Prof Bello in response to the incident through text said ‘’a press release will b issued on the fire incident soonest before the end of the day. Any shooting incident outside our premise is a police issue and should be so directed’’.