According to a report by SaharaReporters, the Abia State Police Command has arrested one of its officers, Corporal Chinedu Nwachukwu, for allegedly raping a student of the Abia State Polytechnic, in Aba.
Academic activities have been halted at the polytechnic as students took over the Aba-Owerri road protesting the alleged rape of three students by policemen.
In a statement, the command's spokesperson, Geoffrey Ogbonna, expressed regret over the disgraceful act allegedly committed by the policemen.
He said, “After visiting the victim at the hospital and obtaining information from her, an investigation was launched which led to the arrest of the suspect.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Janet Agbede, being a woman and a mother has been on her toes with other officers in the command to douse the tension and to find out what actually happened.
“The Commissioner of Police and her management team visited and listened to the victim in the hospital. After hearing from the victim, a serious investigation started through which the policeman, Corporal Nwachukwu Chinedu, that committed the barbaric act was arrested. He was not attached to Rapid Response Squad Aba (RRS) as alleged by the protesters.
“The Commissioner of Police appeals to Abia Polytechnic community and the general public to exercise patience and wait for the outcome of Police investigation which is ongoing and would be fast-tracked and made public to ensure justice and actually the law will take its course.”
It was also stated that the Area Commander and his personnel along with other security agencies met the protesters. The students were advised not to carry on with the protest.
The Area Commander also met the School acting Rector, Associate Professor Kalu Osonwa Okorie on the campus.
He urged the students of the polytechnic to be law-abiding and peaceful in their protest and avoid a violent confrontation with law enforcement officers.
Meanwhile, some policemen were captured on camera opening fire on the protesting students.
The students were protesting against the alleged rape of an 18-year-old female undergraduate of the school by a police officer.
The teenage student was allegedly taken away from a lodge at Aba and subsequently assaulted.
In a video obtained by SaharaReporters, the policemen were seen shooting directly at the protesting students who were chanting and displaying placards to show their grievances.
They also blocked the busy Aba-Owerri Road and prevented motorists from passing.
When the police started shooting, the protesting students ran helter-skelter to avoid being hit by bullets.
It was learnt that some police officers perceived the smell of 'weed' while passing by an off-campus students’ hostel on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, raided a lodge and arrested three male and three female students.
Five of them were released after they were allegedly extorted by the policemen, who kept the 18-year-old student behind.
The student, who was raped while in detention by three officers, was later hospitalised and found in a critical condition.
Meanwhile, 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.
She said the governor's wife had pledged to pay the medical bill of the student.
Ikpeazu also directed that the student should be moved to another medical facility within the state for better care.
The governor of the state, Okezie Ikpeazu, also condemned the shooting at the Polytechnic students.