Murder on campus
Hoodlums suspected to be students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have killed Dr Godwin Iwatt, a lecturer at the Department of Microbiology, known for his uprightness and principle. STANLEY UCHEGBU (Graduating student of Accounting) and EMMANUEL OGAR (Graduating student of Electronics and Computer Technology) report.
•Unknown gunmen kill ‘strict’ lecturer
It was 2:30pm last Tuesday and the Department of Microbiology of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) was brimming with life. Some students were writing their examination; others milled around, chatting.
Suddenly, gunshots rang out from an office. There was bedlam. Exam supervisors, lecturers and students ran out of the exam hall. Some ran into the Centre for Educational Services (CES) building; others ran into the nearby Physics Department
When all was calm, a lecturer, Dr Godwin Iwatt, was found in a pool of his own blood. He was reportedly shot at close range by two assailants suspected to be students of the institution. The assailants, CAMPUSLIFE gathered, escaped from the scene immediately.
The Head of Department (HOD), Dr B. E. Asikong, who rushed to the scene, found Dr Iwatt screaming for help. He was rushed to the medical centre from where he was transferred to the UNICAL Teaching Hospital (UCTH).
Days after he was said to be responding to treatment, Dr Iwatt died from injuries sustained in the attack. He was said to have been hit on his left thoracic cavity.
When news of his death hit the campus, the department was paralysed. The late Dr Iwatt’s colleagues gathered to mourn him. Students were shocked.
Why must Dr Iwatt be killed? Could it be because of his straight-forwardness and discipline? These are some of the questions students were asking.
The late Dr Iwatt taught Virology and Microbial Ecology. He was described as “too strict”. He was recently appointed the university’s Examination Officer.
Before the incident, it was gathered that Iwatt received several threat messages from unidentified persons. A source told our correspondent that, two weeks ago, some people visited the late Dr Iwatt’s private laboratory to attack him, but he “escaped miraculously”.
Johnpaul Otobong, a 300-Level Zoology and Environmental Science student, told CAMPUSLIFE that he overheard some students a few weeks ago saying the late Iwatt boasted in the lecture room that nobody could kill him.
The late Dr Iwatt’s home was attacked by unknown assailants the night before he was killed in his office. But he was said not to have reported the incident to the security unit.
“With all the threats, we still don’t know why an educated man of the status of Dr Iwatt would toy with his life. He never deemed it necessary to report the threat messages he had been receiving to us,” a high ranking university security officer said.
The Chief Security Officer, Mr Boniface Adie, declined comments, referring our reporters to the Information Officer, Mr Effioing Eyo.
Eyo, in a statement, confirmed that the late Iwatt was shot at close range in his office by two unknown assailants suspected to be students of the university. He gave their ages to be between 22 and 28. He said the assailants took to their heels immediately and mixed with other students.
He said: “The problem we have at the moment is that we have not yet ascertained who the assailants are. We learnt that the assailants did not only threaten the late Dr Iwatt, they also threatened another lecturer, Dr. Maurice Ekpenyong, in the same department. It is disheartening that a lecturer has been sacrificed so brutally in the course of carrying out his duty. The murdered lecturer was only abiding by the school’s rules and regulations.”
The management has vowed to apprehend the unknown assailants.
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