Some policemen attached to the Special Anti-Cult Unit of the Anambra State Police Command have been accused of breaking into a private hostel housing students of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, in a bid to arrest suspected fraudsters in Ifite, in the Awka South Local Government Area of the state.
The invasion, which happened around 4am on Sunday, the policemen, who were said to be heavily armed, allegedly beat up an unclad female student.
A resident, who gave his name only as Benneth for security reasons, said the policemen brutalised some of the students when they denied knowing any fraudster.
Benneth said, “The hostel is called Prince Godwin Lodge, and it is outside the school. What we gathered was that there had been robbery operations in the area. So, on Sunday, the students started to hear bangs on the gate and doors of the hostel.
The undergraduates thought the people banging the door were armed robbers because of what happened in the past and they raised the alarm. It was when they entered after breaking the doors of some flats that the students realised that they were policemen as they wore jackets with the inscription of SPAC.
“The students said the policemen started harassing them and said they were looking for Yahoo boys. One of the students, a girl, said some of the policemen entered her room and threatened her to name the boys in the hostel doing Yahoo Yahoo (Internet fraud). The policemen beat her, took some of the students’ phones, laptops, and televisions and arrested some of them. But the girl was able to use her mobile phone to record them as they left the hostel with the students.”
Narrating her ordeal in a video clip recorded by some aggrieved students of the institution, the female student said the policemen beat her while she was naked.
She said, “They broke the door and came into my flat and ever since they broke the door, if we want to sleep, we usually use a chair to brace the door at the back. This is where they were beating me and I was naked.”
In the video, injury marks were seen on her hand.
Her room was also observed to be scattered as the cupboard was wide open.
The Public Relations Officer of the Student Union Government, UNIZIK, Ikechukwu Dikeojo, in a statement, described the action of the policemen as unprofessional.
Dikeojo said, “These unprofessional force men invaded our students’ lodges in the early hours of Sunday, January 22 around 4am with criminal intent. They harassed our students and forcefully collected their phones, laptops, money and other valuables.
“They even threatened to gang-rape one of our female students who raised the alarm upon noticing their plans towards her. Still, they took her phone, laptop, money and PS4 game. They forcefully broke students’ doors thereby gaining illegal entrance into the students’ rooms simply because they claimed they were searching for Internet fraudsters (Yahoo Boys) in Ifite.
“We Zikites are giving the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Command, 24 hours to call the SPAC to order and return all the phones, laptops, PS4 game, and money they forcefully collected from Zikites who reside in Prince Godwin lodge, Ifite, or face the full wrath and the anger of students as we will lead Zikites to block every entrance of this town if our demands are not met.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Ikenganyia Anthony, said an investigation had commenced into the case, adding that Dikeojo had been informed to bring the victims to the command headquarters.
He said, “We are investigating this allegation; the PRO of the Student Union Government has yet to honour Anambra State police invitation to the command headquarters, Awka.
“He was invited to come on January 23, 2023, by 10am along with the victims of the alleged incident but up till now, we are still waiting. I can assure you the police command will get to the root of all this.”