A 300 level student (name withheld) of the Ondo State government owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, was allegedly raped on Wednesday by soldiers attached to the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Owena, Akure.
Daily Sun gathered that the incident occurred at the military checkpoint at Ikare-Akoko in Akoko North-East Local Government Area of the state, just a few kilometers from the university campus.
The victim, said to be a student of Religious and African Studies, is reported to have be going to Ikare-Akoko when the incident happened.
It was alleged that the victim was raped serially by the soldiers.
A source hinted that one of the soilders identified as Lance Corporal allegedly ordered the victim to get down from a mini bus commonly refer to as “Agolo” and took her into a cubicle at the back of the checkpoint, where the soldiers allegedly sexually assaulted the victim.
A student of the university, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the soldiers at the Ikare checkpoint are in the habit of molesting female students who pass through the checkpoint.
“We were coming from Akungba in a mini bus on Wednesday evening. On getting to the checkpoint, the soldier 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 the Ondo State Specialist Hospital, Ikare-Akoko for examination and treatment. She is still at the hospital where it was confirmed that she was raped.”
“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 sexually 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,” the source added.
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Ondo State Specialist Hospital, Ikare-Akoko, Dr Olawale Oguntuase, has confirmed that a lady was brought to the hospital on Wednesday’s night for treatment.
Dr Oguntuase, however, said results of medical examination carried out on her are yet to be ready to ascertain if it was a case of rape.
A police officer at the Ikare Police post confirmed that the incident was reported at the police post at about 7:15 pm on Wednesday, adding that the police had looked into the matter.
He 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,” he stated. “When we complete our investigation, it would be sent to the headquarters in Akure.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Command, Mr Femi Joseph, 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 told Daily Sun.
The Brigade Commander of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Brig. Gen. Zakari Abubakar, when contacted on the matter said 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.”