Madonna Varsity Denies Torture Claims By Suspended Students
Authorities of Madonna University, Akpugo Campus, Enugu State, have dismissed as baseless and unfounded, allegations of students’ torture, saying the school remains one of the best places for effective learning and character.
Two engineering students (names withheld) who were recently suspended and later recalled by the school over alleged cult-related practices, gross misconduct and attack on the school’s Chief Security Officer (CSO), Mr. Okey Ogbonnaya, had accused the school authorities of torture.
They claimed the CSO picked them from their hostels inside the school compound late at night and brutalised them until they bled profusely, after which they were abandoned.
The affected students, who later reported the matter to the police, leading to the arrest of administrator of the Akpugo campus of the school, Rev. Fr. Isaac Nginga, and the CSO in July this year, claimed that they spent several days at the hospital, treating their wounds.
But Rev. Fr. Nginga, debunked the claims by the students saying it lacked substance even as he accused the two students of severely breaching their rules of engagement.
He specifically said that while one of the students, who was admitted in 2010 to study civil engineering for five years was suspended in 2013 for one year, having pleaded guilty of gross misconduct before the university’s disciplinary panel, the other, who was admitted in 2009 and was supposed to have graduated last year, could not following his failure to clear his courses.
Upon the completion of the suspension, the duo returned to school in November, last year, to complete their programmes. Shortly after their return, however, a fracas broke out in January this year between two cult groups allegedly led by the recalled students.
The development led to their invitation and interrogation by the CSO, who said he resisted immense pressure from the affected students to recommend them to the disciplinary committee. They eventually appeared before the committee on February 6 to defend themselves.
Shortly after appearing before the committee, the duo sent a warning letter to CSO to withdraw the case before them or face the consequences.
Three days to the date of their summons, they tricked and attacked the CSO, inflicting severe injuries on him. He was hospitalised for days.
Recalling how it happened, the CSO said he got a call from an unknown number, claiming that some students of the school were somewhere in Garki, Awkunanaw in Enugu South local council, where they were purchasing Indian hemp for supply to students on campus. It added that one of them was even planning to enter the campus with a weapon.