Gang Rapes: After Abia, more rape videos flood Nigerian varsities

on   /   in Just Human 12:00 am   /   Comments

By Uduma Kalu

While Nigerians are waiting for the victim of the Abia State University (ABSU) rape video case to speak out, reasons have been adduced for the brutality meted out to her by a gang said to be cultists in theUuniversity.

In Libya, a16-year-old Nigerian girl was also gang raped by six Libyan anti-Gaddafi supporters. Her father was also abducted, says the BBC. In the UK, a Nigerian is causing an uproar because of a rape case he committed at 13. At the Tai Solarin University of Education {TASUED}, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, rape by suspected student cultists last month resulted in a bloodbath and one week closure of the university by its management.

In Enugu State University, (ESUTECH), some cultists reportedly forced some female students to perform lesbian acts among themselves. They made several disturbing videos of the undergraduate female students having sex among themselves.

The  cultists and their videos were allegedly confiscated by the Nigerian Army (82 Division) in Enugu which transferred the 20 cultists to the police  who allegedly released them on the advice of a powerful politician in the state and the powerful parents and benefactors of the cultists. That was the end of the case. This happened on or around July 19,2011.

However, report by a journalist and activist, Mr. Ogundamisi Kayode’s says the ABSU lady  was said to have “disrespected one of the guys on campus and that prompted the gang raping as a way of teaching her a lesson.” Meanwhile, three of the five men who allegedly raped the female student last month have been identified, even though the Abia state government says the rape did not happen.

Online reports published by 247ureports.com said the lady was allegedly raped by “Ifeanyi Justin Ogu, Jonah Uche (final or extra year accountancy)  and Zaki (resides in Duberville Lodge, ABSU), all students of the institution”. The website also published the pictures of two of the three identified rapists. The identities of the two other alleged rapists remain unknown.

Rape victim

One of the rapists is said to be a 400 Level student of Law while another is an IT student, Jonah Uche. As part of their efforts to unravel the identities of the rapists, male students of the two departments have been allegedly subjected to intense scrutiny by their fellow students. Particular attention is being paid to people suspected to be members of secret cults in the university.

The lady was gang-raped on August 16. The rape, which went on for an hour, was recorded by the rapists, and had been shared via mobile phones in the university, before making its way to the Internet. In the video, the female student was raped by five males who accused her of insulting one of them.

The lady struggled initially, crying and begging her assailants to get off her. The men subdued her by slapping and threatening to kill her. After a while, she gave in and begged them to kill her. The rapists laughed at her and told her that if she didn’t co-operate, they would keep her in the room and continue raping her for two days.

The video of the gang-rape, which has gone viral on the Internet, has attracted widespread anger in Nigeria, with calls on the authorities to probe the incident and bring the culprits to justice.Callers to radio stations across the country also expressed outrage at the rape incident and urged the authorities to ensure that justice is done.

They appealed to the victim, whose face was visible in the rape video, to come forward to help expose the culprits. While the federal government has vowed to probe the incident, the Abia state government spokesman, Don Ubani, said ‘the issue of gang rape in Abia State University is a mere ruse, such a thing did not happen.’

At the Tai Solarin University, students said the gangsters raped some female students at gunpoint and posted the resultant video clips to social networks, facebook and YouTube, making a parent of one of the victims take up legal actions and reported to the police.

When the police went to the campus to fish out the suspected criminals, some of the gang members allegedly engaged the police in gun battle, leading to the death of a 200 level of History and Diplomatic Studies, Olawale Lasisi, who was hit in the crossfire and died of his wounds.

The death of the student further infuriated his colleagues, who trooped to the streets to protest the killing, causing violence. Commercial activities were paralysed,students barricaded the Ijebu-Ode-Benin Expressway for hours, causing traffic congestion. The angry students also took their protest to the police Area Command in Igbeba, Ijebu-Ode, to question the police decision to use live ammunition during their encounter with students.

The Area Commander, Bolaji Odesanya, who confirmed the incident, claimed that the students attempted to set free prisoners at the station. The management of the university ordered the closure of the institution for one week and also set up a panel to investigate the incident.

The state commissioner of police, Nicolas Nkedem, and some of his senior officers, also visited the scene of the incident and said about 53 suspects are now in their net, as investigations continued.

The Guardian of London said this about the Nigerian rapist: “A Nigerian boy, aged 13, is granted a visa to come to the UK with his mother.  Two years later, he commits a horrible rape on a teenage girl. He is sent to a young offender’s institute for four years and when he is released – after only two years – deportation proceedings begin. The UK courts, rightly recognising the boy has abused this country’s hospitality in the worst imaginable way, agree he should be removed.

The boy, now a man, launches an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. And can you guess what happens next? Sadly, of course you can. Strasbourg’s judges rule that – regardless of what the British public and legal system may think – the Nigerian should be allowed to stay. For good. His right to a family and private life must be protected, the judges say – and to hell with the rights of his victim or anybody else for that matter. There are many, many reasons why this verdict is so disturbing.”

The raging rape cases are indeed disturbing. In Libya, the Nigerian family had been hiding in their tiny slum home in a Tripoli suburb since Col Gaddafi was swept from power, fearing the knock at the door. Earlier this month, 20 rebel fighters came, demanding to be let in, shouting “murtazaka”.

It is the word every black African in Libya knows too well. Murtazaka is Arabic for “mercenary”, the armed men allegedly employed by the former regime to carry out some of the worst excesses of the conflict. The fighters forced their way into the Nigerian family’s home.

They beat the couple living there. They stole their possessions and money, abducted the father of the house and turned on his 16-year-old daughter. She said: “A group of armed men came to our house. They started knocking, they came in saying ‘murtazaka’. They locked my mother inside a toilet. Six of them raped me. They took our belongings and money. My father tried to stop them but they hit him and carried him away.”

At the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, scores of female students who are undergoing pre-degree programme, have fled their hostels at Moro village, on the outskirts of the ancient town, following several cases of gang raping by some hoodlums. The students live in private hostels in the village, due to the university’s non-residential policy on the pre-degree programme.

It was gathered that the rape suspects had on July 27 swooped on the students and raped an unspecified number of them who were also robbed of their belongings. Most of the students who thereafter became fear-stricken, abandoned their hostels, some five kilometres to the university’s main campus at Ile-Ife.

It was said that some parents had in the past expressed serious concern at the nondescript nature of the hostels, with no good security arrangements, while some of the rooms were virtually without good doors. The parents were said to have complained that the students were paired up in rooms that were not fit for human habitation in spite of the very high fees the university authority charges on each student for the nine-month programme.

Mr .Biodun Olanrewaju, the Public Relations Officer of the University, who confirmed the incident, said the number of affected students had yet to be ascertained.

He said that as soon as the incident occurred, a detachment of security men from the main campus was deployed in the area to secure the students. Olanrewaju explained that the Moro hostels were not owned by the university, but were rented through private arrangements in collaboration with the parents of the students.

He said: “It is true that we operate a pre-degree programme at Moro, but it is non-residential. Parents made private arrangements for the accommodation of their children.” The affected students were not available for comments, while the buildings have been put under lock and key by the landlady. The Area Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at Ipetumodu, who declined to mention his name, said that some of the students had in the past sought for adequate security at the hostels.

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