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ABSU RAPE: LAWYERS PETITION AGF, DSS

By NBF News
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A team of legal practitioners has petitioned the attorney general of the federation and the director general, Department of State Services to unmask the identities of five men who allegedly raped a female student of the Abia State University, Uturu and bring them to book.

There has been wide condemnation of the act, since the video tape of the victim and her assailants was released online some weeks ago. The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Chibuzor Ogbuagu and the Abia State government have since denied the incident.

Reacting to the sad incident, the Principal Officer of C. N. Ajie and Co, Dame Carol Ajie, in a petition, made available to Daily Sun, demanded urgent actions in apprehending the perpetrators of the dastardly act. She said women in the society had become endangered species, as statistics had revealed ascending incidents of sexual violence against them in the country.

The petition, which condemned the poor handling of the ABSU scandal by security operatives, was copied to the Senate President, David Mark, the Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Majority Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, House Leader, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, principal officers of Senate Committees on Women, among others.

Ajie, who is also a fellow, Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa, Georgetown Law Centre in Washington, said rapists were emboldened in their criminal escapades by the inability of the security agencies to punish their crimes.

The lawyers described as 'conjectured, hurried and unacceptable' the defence of the ABSU VC that the suspected cultists were not from the university. Part of the petition reads: 'The culprits identified as Jonah Uche (final year or extra year Accountacy), Wisdom, Zaki (Duberville Lodge, ABSU), Chisom and Ifeanyi Ogu Justin are believed to be students of Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu, Abia State.

'Some of the spoken words on the recorded tapes were also in Igbo and English. One of the culprits flaunted his 4th year Law studentship, ostensibly in ABSU, yet another IT student, as though to scoff at the statutory powers of the state to investigate their heinous crimes…'

Ajie also faulted the action of the Abia State police in aborting an anti-rape march in Umuahia organised by over 300 women from different parts of the South-east. Aside halting the peaceful protest, she said the command equally descended furiously on the women and got several of them arrested and detained.

She warned that issues bordering on violence against women should not be swept under the carpet, citing the release of suspects linked to the incident by men of the Abia Police Command.

'The world is eager to see you hand justice to girls and women. Groups from UK and US snd in Nigeria have also expressed concern that it is one rape too many, and particularly considering that there is a reasonable probability that the victim may not have survived the horror of the terror', she said.

To worsen the plight of rape victims, Ajie said victims are further traumatised in the hands of officers who have the statutory responsibilities to ensure their safety and protection. 'Distressing, the victims remain sullied and helpless as the culpritsoften go unpunished. ainst young girls and women More condemnations have continued to trail the alleged gang rape of a female student of the Abia State University, Uturu by five unidentified men of the institution. In what could be described as an act of defiance to security operatives, the rapists recorded the incident and posted it on the internet for global viewing.