Some soldiers of the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigeria Army have been alleged to have gang-raped a 300-level student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State.
It was gathered that the incident occurred at the military checkpoint at Ikare-Akoko in Akoko North-East Local Government Area of Ondo State.
According to a source, the victim, a 300-level student of the Department of Religious and African Studies of AAUA, was on her way to Ikare-Akoko from campus when the incident happened.
The source identified one of the soldiers as Lance Corporal Sunday, alleging that the victim was raped serially by the soldiers.
The source added that one of the soldiers identified as Lance Corporal Sunday, who allegedly ordered the victim to get down from a mini bus and took her into a cubicle at the back of the checkpoint where they (soldiers) allegedly had canal knowledge of the victim forcefully.
A student of the institution, who craved for anonymity, said the soldiers at the Ikare checkpoint were fond molesting the female students who pass-by the checkpoint.
“We were coming from Akungba in a mini bus on Wednesday evening, on getting to the checkpoint, the soldier (Sunday) looked inside our taxi and pointed to the lady and ordered her to get down. We didn’t know why he did that. When the lady alighted, he took her to their mini-barracks and asked us to leave the scene.
“Out of fear we left the place, hoping that she will be released immediately but she was not released until after one hour later. After that, we discovered that she was serially raped by the soldiers at the checkpoint.
“Immediately we went to Ikare Police Station to report the incident and rushed her to Ondo State Specialist Hospital, Ikare-Akoko for examination and treatment as I am talking to you, she is at the hospital.
She added “This is not the first time such a thing will be happening at the soldiers’ checkpoint in the town. The commuters who are mostly students that live in Ikare are often asexually harassed especially in the evening. The soldiers will be using their hands to press our breasts while inside a cab, in the name of stop and search.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Ondo State Specialist Hospital, Ikare-Akoko, Dr Olawale Oguntuase confirmed that the lady was brought to the hospital on Wednesday’s night for treatment.
Dr Oguntuase, however, said result of medical examination carried out on her was yet to be ready on Thursday to ascertain if it was a case of rape.
Confirming the incident, a police source at the Ikare Police Station in Igbede area of Ikare-Akoko, who confirmed that the incident, disclosed that the issue was reported at the station at about 7.15pm on Wednesday, adding that the police had stepped into the matter.
The source confirmed that the name of Lance Corporal Sunday was mentioned in the statement written by the complaint.
“The matter was reported here but I won’t say more on it , when we complete our investigation, it would be sent to the headquarters in Akure,” he stated.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Command, Mr. Femi Joseph, however, said he was not aware of the incident.
“I have not been briefed about the matter, I will have to call the Ikare Division and I will call you back when I get the details,” Joseph said.
However, up till the time of filing this report, the police spokesman did not call back.
The Brigade Commander of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Brig. Gen. Zakari Abubakar, when contacted on the matter, on the telephone, stated that he was at a meeting and promised to call back.
The management of the AAUA was said to have begun investigation into the matter.
The Head of Media and Protocol Unit of the university, Mr. Victor Akinpelumi confirmed that the management of the institution was aware of the incident and had started investigation into it.
According to him, “The management is aware and investigation had commenced. The university has set up a panel to look into the matter and we will get back to you.”