October 8, 2011

ABSU gang rape: Victim agreed to be raped – Police

By UDUMA KALU, With agency report
The Abia State Police command has explained why it suspended investigations into the gang rape that happened in its Abia State University. The state police command said the girl-victim consented to the rape.

An online website monitoring the case yesterday reported that commenting on a DVD tape sent to his CP to expedite investigations into the activities of the criminal gang, J.G. Micloth, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Abia  State Police command Criminal Investigation Department said the lady had consented to the gang crime.

He was quoted as saying that after watching the DVD, he said he did not see the young lady resist the rape.

On Thursday, 300 women from Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo, were stopped by the Abia State police command from protesting in Umuahia, the state capital, against the controversial gang-rape alleged to have taken place at the state university, Uturu.

In Umuahia, the women, who said they came under the umbrella of civil society groups in the South-East and Igbo Women Organizations, urged  the government and police to conduct deeper investigation into the ugly incident.

The police stoppage of the Abia walk happened on a day Abia State police command announced N500, 000 reward to anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators or identification of the rape victim.

A statement by the command’s spokesman, ASP Geoffrey Ogbonna, said: “The command in its usual manner of protecting informants’ identity, assures utmost secrecy in this regard while a handsome reward of N500,000 awaits any one with useful information.”

The women, who came into Umuahia with two big buses, were stopped close to Government House by the Divisional Police Officer of Umuahia and diverted to the Central Police Station. However, last week  the Assistant Commissioner of Police head said the Police cannot go on with the investigation because ”they cannot tell who the suspects are ‘from the legs’ in the video, amongst 70 million males in Nigeria”.

Mr Micloth yesterday said gang rape is often videoed as a tool by under-graduate boys to rubbish the self esteem of snobbish girls. He said even if the lady had not consented, he figured that she was a girlfriend to one of the cultists and must have probably cheated on him and when queried ‘insulted’ the boy hence he probably assembled a gang to teach her the lesson of her life, the website said.

It would be recalled that some students who are now known in the media circle as Uchenna, Wisdom, Zaki, Chisom and Ifeanyi — all believed to be students of Abia State University gang raped a young lady sometime in August this year, recorded it on video and circulated the dastardly act on youtube three weeks ago.

Mr Micloth who claimed to be heading the Police investigating team said ‘Several visits have been made to ABSU. Police have consulted the VC and checked the University records. Searches have been conducted and still on going in students Lodges.

Maranatha Lodge and Duperville Lodges have been checked room to room. Unfortunately no such names cited in the internet and press live there.

None also in the University records’ the website, had “revealed the gang rape assailants as Ifeanyi Justin Ogu, Jonah Uche, Zaki and Winston Okoye Chinonso.”

In the rape video, which lasted well over an hour, the girl could be seen trying to fight off the men. When her efforts proved abortive amidst beatings, she resorted to pleading with them to spare her; but her pleas fell on deaf ears. And when she could not take the excruciating pain any longer, she begged them to kill her, instead of letting her live with the stigma our society would pile on top of her already horrendous trauma. As she pleaded with them, the boys laughed and mocked her, asking her to ‘co-operate’ or face two more days of torture by rape.

The incident, which is believed to have occured in Abia State sparked outrage nationwide.