One up for the Police
•Thumbs up for the Nigeria Police for cracking the ‘ABSU’ gang rape case
It must rank among the most sordid tales out of Nigeria in recent times. Last September, four men had gang-raped a lady. Not satisfied with their fiendish act, they had recorded their atrocity on a video clip, exposing the lady’s face and all, while being careful to conceal theirs. These men from Hades had gone on to post the moving picture on You tube in the World Wide Web. Expectedly, it was an instant hit, going viral immediately as the entire voyeuristic world fed frenzy on Nigeria’s collective shame.
To further hide their bestiality and mislead investigators who were sure to get on their trail, the four rapists labelled their video to suggest that the lady in question was a student of the Abia State University, ABSU, at its Uturu campus, Abia State. The incident naturally set ABSU – the students, management and the entire university community on a spin. Even the Abia State government was caught in the ensuing opprobrium, taking so much flak for ‘mishandling’ the matter. The ABSU authority insisted that it had no such lady student as exhibited in the video but people thought it was merely living in denial and trying to cover up a sordid episode.
This gang rape could only have been second to the Aluu-four case in which four University of Port Harcourt students were lynched by a mob and later set ablaze in Aluu community in Rivers State. The manner of killing of these students purported to be violent cultists, which was also immediately posted on the internet would set the chill down the spine of the watching world as people wondered whether such bestiality was still possible in this age.
While Nigerians had put the ‘ABSU gang-rape’ case behind them, consigning it into the Nigeria Police archive of multitudinous unsolved criminal cases, some cheery news broke out in the bleak horizon. The Rivers State Police Command reports that it has cracked the ‘ABSU gang-rape’ case. According to information contained in the Nigeria Police newspaper, The Dawn (March 11-24, 2013 edition), the matter did not take place in ABSU or Abia State afterall; the crime was committed in Obite, in Etche Council Area of Rivers State. The victim was also found to be a married woman and the suspects allegedly her husband’s cousins.
The police had unravelled the case through tracing a man who identified and confirmed that the lady in the video clip was his wife and that the suspects were from his community. The police noted that a painstaking tracing established the identity of the suspects, leading to their arrest. Three of them have already been arraigned at the Magistrate’s Court 9 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The fourth suspect is reportedly at large.
Though we are at a loss as to why the police would choose their in-house journal to report a major breakthrough of this magnitude to the public, we must not hesitate to commend their effort and tenacity at unravelling this case that shocked not only Nigerians but the world. Considering that the Nigeria Police lack forensic equipment and sophisticated e-crime know-how, we laud their ability to follow this horrid episode through to the prosecution stage. When the case is concluded, we will expect the police to tell the story in full and we urge the Police authority and the inspector-general to uphold, reward and generally encourage the team that cracked this case, to stand as an example to the officers and men of the Nigeria Police.