By Ayodele Oni
The management of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko. (AAUA) in Ondo state has said that one of its female students was allegedly sexually assaulted by some soldiers that are on duty in the university community.
The Head media and protocol unit of the university, Mr Victor Akinpelumi who confirmed to journalists, disclosed that the management has set up a committee to investigate the incident.
According to an eye witness, the incident happened on Wednesday evening at a military check point in Ikare, while the victim and her friends were returning home from school.
The soldiers are said to be from the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Akure and deployed to Ikare for security duty.
They allegedly raped the victim, a 300-level student of the Department of Religious and African Studies of AAUA, while she was coming back from the campus .
One of the soldiers was simply identified from his name tag as Lance Corporal Sunday.
The soldier, Sunday, at the checkpoint allegedly ordered the victim to get down from a mini bus she boarded from school and took her into a cubicle at the back of the checkpoint where they (soldiers) allegedly, with force had sex with the victim.
A student of the institution who was in the bus said the soldiers at the Ikare checkpoint were fond of molesting female students that pass-by the checkpoint.
She said ” We were coming from Akungba in a mini bus on Wednesday evening, on getting to the checkpoint, this 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 and doctors confirmed that she was raped.”
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 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.”
A police source at the Ikare Police Station, who confirmed that the incident was reported at the station at about 7.15pm on Wednesday, said 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 victim.
” 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.
The Brigade Commander of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Brig. Gen. Zakari Abubakar , when contacted on the matter, on the telephone, told our correspondent that he was at a meeting and promised to call back .
The Head of Media and Protocol Unit of the university, Mr. Akinpelumi said that the management of the institution was aware of the incident and had started investigation.
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.”