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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Abia State Gang Rape: Two Persons Arrested And Victim Identified!

The Abia State Police Command has arrested two suspects in connection with the alleged rape of a female student of the Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu, by a gang of male students of the same school.

The report of the arrest filtered in on Saturday, amid speculations that the victim had also been identified and was being protected from public knowledge for her safety and to help security agencies in their further investigations.

SaharaReporters claimed on Saturday that the state Police Commissioner, Alhaji Bala Abdullahi Hassan, spoke from the command's headquarters in Aba, confirming that "police detectives in the state arrested one 'Zaki' and his roommate late last night."

The online news agency said the commissioner did not provide the full names of the arrested persons, claiming that his detectives would not want to jeopardise the possibility of making more arrests.

The ABSU rape case, suspected to have happened many weeks back and apparently recorded by the perpetrators and posted online August 17, involved a young female, believed to be a student, and five male students who took their turn to rape her, allegedly despite pleas that she should be set free or killed, rather than raped.

The video was hoisted on a social networking website, Youtube, and it caused disaffection among many Nigerians who described it as disgusting and bestial, calling on authorities to fish out the criminals.

Reports also had it that the identity of the gang-rape victim had been confirmed. Her name was said to have been given as one Nneoma, who was, however, said not to be a student of ABSU.

Sunday Tribune learnt that following the public outcry that trailed the offensive video credited to students of his state's university, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State issued a hard directive for the suspects to be fished out immediately.

However, this was contrary to earlier confusion created over the matter by authorities.

While the police had earlier been accused of lack of seriousness over the matter, the state government was said to have issued threats that anyone who linked students of ABSU to the crime would face grievous consequences, while denying outright that five male students of ABSU took turn to rape a young woman.

In the same vein, the Abia State Police Command was reported to have said the rape saga happened on the Imo State campus of ABSU and not on its main campus in Uturu.

But the Imo State Police Command would respond to the claim, contending that there was no Imo State campus of Abia State University. These went on for over a month while the offending video lingered on the internet.

SaharaReporters claimed further that investigations confirmed that the rape took place at one Maranatha Lodge, an off-campus student's hostel near ABSU.

It claimed that "two students, Ifeanyi Ogu Justin and Jonah Uche, have been identified by witnesses, but a third perpetrator, 'Zaki,' is reportedly yet to be fully identified."

It was also learnt that the rape victim was being kept at an undisclosed location with some members of her family for fear that an attempt might be made on their lives.

The online news agency also claimed that it learned that witnesses led investigators to the victim's hideout, while a source disclosed that the victim and her mother were so fearful for their life that the young woman (victim) told investigators she was never raped.

It further claimed that it spoke with one of the sources "who revealed the names of the perpetrators and led investigators to the victim."

The source, it claimed, stated that the victim and those who initially came forward as witnesses were now so scared that they had all decided to deny that the vicious attack ever took place.

"When our correspondents asked how it was possible to deny what had been captured on tape, the source said, 'well, that is not my concern,'"


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