SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: April 18, 2013

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Kogi State Polytechnic

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On April 18, 2013 a senior lecturer at Kogi State Polytechnic University was stabbed to death on campus, allegedly by rival student groups.


According to reports, Mr. Anthony Abimaje, a lecturer in research methodology and entrepreneurship, was on his way to pick up his wife from a campus store, when he came across a fight between students from rival ethnic groups. Witnesses reported that he was dragged out of his car and stabbed repeatedly. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. According to university officials, Mr. Abimaje had been attempting to break up the fight when the stabbing occurred. Other media reports suggest that students spotted Mr. Abimaje and attacked him because of his strict stance against examination malpractices and refusal to take bribes. Twenty-five students were reportedly arrested in connection with the incident. Following the incident, the university was closed down, and was scheduled to reopen on July 28, 2013.


Scholars at Risk is concerned about the killing of a university official on campus.  In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom and institutional autonomy. State and university officials have a responsibility to ensure the security of higher education communities, to prevent future attacks, and to hold perpetrators of violent attacks accountable.