By Dayo Johnson
AKURE—AUTHORITIES of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko in Ondo State, weekend, called on the Nigerian Army to deal decisively with the soldiers, who gang-raped a 300 level students of the institution at a military checkpoint between Akungba Akoko and Ikare Akoko area of the state last week.
This came as Governor Rotimi Akeredolu asked the Army authorities to immediately hand over the suspects to the Police for prosecution.
The victim, who is of the Department of Religious and African Studies of the institution was gang raped by the suspects at a checkpoint in Ikare Akoko, in Akoko North-East council area of the state last Wednesday while returning from campus.
This came as the Brigade Commander of the Brigade, Brig. Gen. Zakari Abubakar has confirmed the arrest of the suspects saying: “It is true that they (the soldiers) have been arrested. We have commenced our investigations.”
Varsity wants Army checkpoint dismantled
The Acting Registrar of the institution, Opeoluwa Akinfemiwa, in a statement, condemned the sexual assault by the soldiers and requested that the checkpoint be dismantled and the soldiers redeployed.
Akinfemiwa said: “The authorities of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, condemn, in its strongest term, the sexual assault on one of its students by one of the soldiers stationed at a check point between Akungba Akoko and Ikare Akoko.
“The University, after its preliminary investigation, noted with concern and amazement that a soldier of the Federal Republic Nigeria, whose duty, among others, is to protect lives of its citizens can turn round to exhibit such reprobate tendencies.
“The University, while commending the swift action taken so far by the Brigade Commander on this inhuman and brazen assault on a defenceless and innocent student, calls on the authorities of the Nigerian Army to deal decisively with the perpetrator(s) of the act against humanity.”
Meanwhile, Governor Akeredolu, in a statement by his Information and Orientation Commissioner, Donald Ojogo in Akure, yesterday, described the offence as “callous, mindless and heart aching.”
Akeredolu said: “The full weight of the law must be tested in this particular case to serve as a deterrent to others who seek to undesirably, take advantage of the unprotected.
“Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, has urged the authorities of the Nigerian Army to immediately hand over to the Police for urgent prosecution, the soldiers arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a University student at the Akungba-Ikare military checkpoint.”
“Governor particularly finds the alleged offence callous, mindless and heart aching that it was said to have been committed by soldiers whose presence ought to be a succour to the people, especially the vulnerable, in the face of the heightening wave of violence and insecurity in the country.”
Also the Students Union President of the institution, Adesomoju O. Samuel, in a statement, said: “We call this an obvious threat that won’t be entertained by the union, not even when we are yet to live in a banana republic where anything goes, it is our role as a union to protect the conscience of our members by ensuring the full wrath of the law on offences like this.”