The country woke up one morning to see a ten minute video of a helpless lady being raped by five men.
The video was said to have been shot at the Abia State University, the “actors” in the video also said to be students of the same institution.
I watched the video and started waiting for reactions only to hear the Abia State governor shoot himself in the foot by declaring in a statement that the people in the video were not of Abia State University.
According to them, and what I read on Linda Ikeji’s blog, they have concluded their investigations. Result – The boys in the video are not students of Abia State University. They called the VC of the school, the VC told them it didn’t happen in the school, end of story!
In fact the statement from a Special Assistant to the Abia State governor, Obed Nnaji Asiegbu read,
The Abia State Government has carried out an investigation on this matter and the truth is that, the alleged video never emanated from the university.
The victim and the perpetrators are not students of Abia State University. Those associating ABSU with such barbaric visor should please desist from such. The university is safe for academic activities as known for.
But what bothered me the most was a statement credited to the Abia State government that the video was the work of political detractors.
Politicians know how to worsen an already bad situation. How does a rape video turn out to be the work of political detractors?
I watched the video again and again and realized that if this was a serious country the boys in the video could be uncovered based on the video alone and nothing else.
I heard the girl call out at least one name while she pleaded with them for mercy.
As a person hooked on movies like Criminal Minds, 24 and Sleeper Cell it was easy for me to deduce that the girl knew these boys and she may not have been forced into that room.
One of them talked about himself being an IT student and another one said he was a 4th year law student, all from the video and I watched it with amateur eyes.
Now is there a law faculty at the Abia State University? Could we have started by investigating all 4th year law students in the school? That would have been a lead.
A few days later, an internet geek who had probably watched more Criminal Minds and 24 than me came out with names from watching the video over and over again.
Nigerians all over were worried and were doing all in their disposal to fish out the perpetrators of that act but the Abia State governor who is the chief security officer of the state played the ostrich and had his head firmly buried in the sand.
The governor’s wife, Mercy Odochi Orji who should have played the mother figure here towed the line of her husband and condemned those who thought the rape occurred at Abia State University.
I will just relay part of her statement-
The Office of Her Excellency, wishes to make it categorically clear that available report from the leadership of the University said that there was no such inglorious act and ugly incident in the institution.
But what did the police do with the shreds of evidence at their disposal?
They said it was not police policy to investigate a crime based on evidence on the internet.
The commissioner of police, Bala Hassan actually said they expected the victim to come to their station to report the crime and then he will send officers to the crime scene for investigation but since none of that had happened they would not be involved.
And Hassan actually asked some questions that would make Albert Einstein hide his head in shame- Until now, have you seen the victim? Have you seen the scene of the crime?
Have you seen the suspects? It is a very dangerous rumour that must be dismissed by all good meaning Abians and Nigerians”
The police commissioner’s statement just strengthened my belief that all police officers employed before 1990 should be retired with immediate effect.
As far as I was concerned the young lady in the video, who ever she was had been abandoned by the very people who should protect her- the police, the school authorities and even the state governor.
The school also released a statement saying the rape did not happen and whoever were the people in the video, both victims and perpetrators were not students of their school.
Why was ever one so quick to keep a safe distance from the incident when there was a person suffering the trauma of rape?
Who then is safe? It reminded me of a time in Port Harcourt when a fella who was called “One man Squad” because of the way he commits his crimes operated.
He broke into peoples’ homes at night with a gun and knife, overpowered their husbands, tied them up and made them watch while he raped their wives.
It was alleged that just before he started raping their wives he made it known to the his victim and her husband that he was HIV positive.
He used to operate at the Eneka and Rumuklwurushi part of Port Harcourt and then he moved to Igwuruta but he was killed at Rumunduru.
One Man Squad is alleged to have raped at least 30 women in Port Harcourt but the police did nothing about it until a time when the people in the community where he operated located him and killed him the Nigerian way (called jungle justice).
Before One Man Squad was killed, the Rivers State Police Command had dismissed stories around him as baseless and fictitious.
Now did the Abia State government mean that they wanted the same in their state where people seek justice their own way since they had been left alone?
The truth is that our state must begin to see its citizens as priority. Nigerians are not proud of the country because the country cannot protect them.
This rape story made the rounds because Nigeria’s internet community kept it alive. Girls are raped everyday; who will come to their rescue?
And rape is not politics. The Abia State governor will have to be careful about the people around his as advisers and assistants and he should apologise to the victim since I hear she has been discovered and is truly a student of the Abia State University.
I also expect resignations from the Abia State Police Command and the Abia State University.
And while we are at it I hope the victim finds her healing and gets back to being a normal person again.
Written by: China Acheru