In the early hours of Friday, a group of suspected armed robbers raided over thirty off-campus hostels where students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka reside. No less than 17 students suffered various degrees of injuries, and about nine female students are alleged to have been sexually assaulted.
Around 12.30 am on Thursday night, the robbers, who were estimated to number over 20, stormed the Ifite Road in Awka, where the hostels were situated, shooting randomly and robbing from room to room and hostel to hostel. This uncontested crime spree lasted for about three hours.
A student of the university who would not want her name mentioned told reporters that the robbers were heavily armed with guns axes and matchets going from room to room rapping female students and robbing them phones , ipads and money.
“We were at the hostel when we had gunshots that lasted for about ten minutes and we ran for our lives because they have not gotten to our own hostel and we had hide at the back of some shops in the area”
“Then we had loud noise of female students shouting for help but nobody could summon the courage to stop them because they are well armed”
“Those that attempted to resist were beaten blue black and many people got injured but I cannot say the number of people affected.”
“One of the female students that was rapped is a virgin and they rapped her twice and we are holding her because she wants to commit suicide”
The student further narrated that:
“The number of hostels in Ifite -Awka is about 300 and including upstairs and bungalows but from what we got after the incident more than seventeen students were injured and that number of those rapped may be nine or ten or even twelve”.
It was however gathered that a call was placed to Governor Charles Soludo who ordered security operatives to battle the robbers but before they could arrive the operation was almost over.
It will be recalled that four days before the incident suspected robbers have been visiting restaurants and bars robbing students and bar owners at gun point between 7pm and 9 pm which has resulted in the restaurants closing early while some students have fled their hostels for fear of attacks.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer DSP Tochukwu Ikenga who confirmed the incident:
“Our men on getting wind of the information got to Ifite Awka and was able to battle the criminals “
No figure of arrest were given by the police as according to him making it public would interrupt investigations.
Meanwhile there was a joint meeting between the University Authorities and the security operatives which also had in attendance a representative of the Anambra state government#