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: June 27, 2023

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Akwa Ibom State University

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 27, 2023, suspected cult members murdered Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU) student Abasi-Anyianga Morris.

The killing took place on campus, reportedly because Morris, a student in his final year at AKSU, had won a contest to become a AKSU student ambassador. The contest is also known as ‘Mr. AKSU’. Following the murder, local police stated that they were searching for the attackers and had increased security on campus and surrounding areas.

Scholars at Risk is gravely concerned about the targeted killing of a student for their status as a student leader and offers condolences to their family, friends, and classmates. State authorities have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to respond to and prevent such incidents, including by investigating and holding perpetrators accountable, in accordance with international human rights obligations. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, assassinations of students in apparent retaliation for the nonviolent exercise of freedom of expression and association undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)