Army vows to punish officer over alleged rape of Ondo student
Brigade Commander, 32 Artillery Brigade, Brigadier General Zakari Abubakar, has vowed to sanction officers who engage in rape and sexual harassment, saying such issues should be channeled to the Brigade Command in Akure for appropriate action.
Abubakar, however, said it would be difficult for any of his officers to get involved in such dastardly acts, giving their level of discipline, insisting that any officer found guilty of such acts knows the penalty because the military authority does not treat such issues with kids gloves.
His assertions followed outrage in Ondo State as some soldiers at a military checkpoint at Ikare Akoko, Ajijo North East Council of the state, allegedly raped a student (names withheld) of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.
An eyewitness to the incident told The Guardian that the soldiers, attached to 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigeria Army, accosted the victim, a 300L student of the Department of Religious and African Studies on Wednesday evening. He noted that the student was coming from campus when one of the soldiers and some of his colleagues serially raped her.
They said the officer ordered the victim to alight from a mini-bus and ordered her to a secluded area in the cubicle at the checkpoint, where they raped her.
A student of the institution, who witnessed the incident, alleged that the soldiers at the Ikare checkpoint were fond of molesting the female students who pass through the barrier.
A police source at the Ikare Police Station confirmed the incident, revealing that the report was lodged at the station at 7.15pm on Wednesday, stressing that the police had waded into the matter. He also confirmed that the name of the indicted officer was mentioned in the statement of the complainant, saying: “The matter was reported here but I won’t say more on it, when we complete our investigations, it would be sent to the headquarters in Akure.”
Head of Media and Protocol Unit of the university, Victor Akinpelumi, who also confirmed that the management of the institution was aware of the incident, said investigations had begun on the matter. But the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Femi Joseph, denied knowledge of the incident, saying: “I have not been briefed on the matter, I will have to call the Ikare Division and call you back when I get the details.”
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