Policemen opened fire on Abia Polytechnic students who were protesting alleged rape of their colleague by cops.
Some policemen were seen shooting the students of Abia State Polytechnic who were protesting the alleged gang-rape of their 18-year-old colleague by an officer.
The students had taken to the streets of Aba to protest the alleged rape of an 18-year-old female undergraduate of the school by three operatives of the Special Rapid Response (SRS) squad of Abia Police Command in the state.
It was learnt that the problem started on Wednesday when some policemen raided the students’ lodge, claiming they had perceived the smell of ‘weed’ while passing by an off-campus hostel that same day.
The police officers were said to have arrested three male and female students but only five were released, excluding the alleged 18-year-old rape victim.
Students of the institution later stormed the streets in protest on Thursday, alleging that the female student, who has now been hospitalized was found in a critical condition after she was allegedly raped while in police detention.
In a video making the rounds on social media, police operatives could be seen close to the university shooting directly at the protesting students who were chanting and displaying placards to show their grievances.
When the police started shooting, the protesting students, who also blocked the busy Aba-Owerri Road to prevent motorists from passing, could be seen running helter-skelter to avoid being hit by bullets.
The wife of the state governor, Nkechi Ikpeazu, who was represented by Dr Suzzy Nwachukwu, a medical practitioner attached to the Office of the Wife of the Governor while visiting the victim at the hospital on Thursday, condemned the action of the policemen.
Dr Nwackukwu said the governor’s wife had pledged to pay the medical bill of the student, adding that she has also directed that the student should be moved to another medical facility within the state for better care.
Abia Governor Condemns Shooting, Orders Investigation
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has condemned in the strongest of terms, the shooting by some police officers on Thursday at protesting students of Abia State Polytechnic Aba.
In a statement signed by Onyebuchi Ememanka, his Chief Press Secretary, Ikpeazu said the shooting by the police was uncalled for and could aggravate an already tense situation.
“Shooting at unarmed students who were protesting the alleged sexual assault of one of them by a Police officer is against all known and recognised rules of engagement by law enforcement officers who could have employed other means other than deadly force to disperse the protesting students,” Ikpeazu noted.
Governor Ikpeazu also said the state is investigating the cause of the protest which created gridlock along the Aba -Owerri road.
He ordered the state police commissioner and the area commander in charge of Aba to ensure that the officers who were involved in the shooting are identified and disciplined.
The Governor further advised the students to be disciplined and avoid taking the law into their hands even while protesting, adding that they must, at all times, exercise restraint when confronted by Police on lawful duty.
Video of police shooting at protesting students
KanyiDaily had also reported how a police officer, Ochofie Ijimbile, committed suicide while serving as a Hotel guard in Aba metropolis, Abia State.