Police investigate alleged rape of 21-year-old varsity student by HOD in Rivers

Silhouette of a rapist and his victim

By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Operatives of Rivers State Police Command are investigating alleged of rape of a 21-year-old female student of the Rivers State College of Health Science and Management Technology (name withheld) by one of the  Heads of Department in the institution, Mr. Princewill Chukwure Chikakpobi in his office.

Our correspondent learnt  that the allegation is being investigated by the Human Rights Desk of the Rivers State Police Command Headquarter, Moscow Road.

It was learnt that the student filed a complaint of rape, sexual harassment and intimidation against the suspect who is the Head of Department (HOD) of Dental Surgery Technician in the college in company of her mother, Mrs. Lemon Gbara, and members of a Human Rights group in Rivers.

Speaking to journalists after filing the complaint, Mrs Gbara told journaliststhat she wants Justice for her daughter

She also alleged that the HOD has been harassing her daughter even after the incident.

Narrating how the victim was allegedly raped, Mrs Gbara disclosed that on 16 April, 2021, her daughter had arrived very early in school for the examination taking place that morning.

She claimed that the HOD had called her daughter to assist him to carry a generator set outside from a store close to his office.

But Mrs Gbara explained that immediately her daughter entered the store, the HOD locked the door, intimidated and forcefully had sex with her against her consent even as she screamed for help.

Mrs Gbara alleged that the HOD subsequently threatened her daughter that if she tells anybody or refuse to comply any time he needs her, he would ensure she does not graduate from the institution.

She regretted that her daughter who has barely spent four months in the institution is being subjected to trauma and emotional pains which made her to contemplate suicide.

Mrs Gbara, a native of Ogoni, in Rivers State also called on the Rivers State Government to wade into the matter and ensure that the lecturer  is dealt with inline with the law.

She expressed fear that if nothing is done, other female students will become  victims of the lecherous lecturer.

In the meantime, a lawyer with Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign,  IK Alexander, has called on the Provost of the college to cooperate with the Police in the State to ensure that the HOD submit himself to the Police for investigation since the allegation of the rape took place in the institution.

Mr Alexander equally urged the Police to display professionalism in handling of the matter and ensure the investigation is devoid of sentiment and bias.

He said if the HOD is found wanting in course of investigation, he should be made to face the law.

Our correspondent reports that a WhatsApp communication between the female student and the lecturer after the alleged rape, showed that the female student told the lecturer that he forcefully had sex with her.

The message was read by the HOD as indicated by the green sign in WhatsApp message,  but he did not respond to it.

It was gathered that the Police will write officially to the institution to ask the lecturer to submit himself for investigation.

On her part, the victim  said the HOD has been pestering her for sex which she turned down.

She also confirmed her mother’s claim that two weeks ago, the HOD tricked her into his office under the under false pretense that she needed her help to carry a generator and immediately she entered to give the HOD a helping hand, he locked the door and forced  himself on her.

According to the traumatized female student,“During the exam, I came very early on that morning so I can stay in the class and do last preparation before it will start. The HOD then called me into his office to help him carry his generator from a store in his office.

“As I walked inside, he locked the door and the place was dark. I tried to open the curtain, but he held me and overpowered me and forced himself on me.”

The girl who said she is now seeking justice said her pleas for the HOD to stop fell on deaf ears. She said she wants him prosecuted so no female student should have to go through the same experience.

When contacted by our correspondent to react to the allegation, Mr. Chikakpobi, went emotional alleging that he was being framed and that and that Jesus is the only answer to his problem.

“I do not know what is going on. Jesus is the only answer to this problem. It’s only Jesus that knows who is contending against me,” he said.