Benue governor orders investigation into suspected student rape after Premium Times report

A few days after PREMIUM TIMES published a report on the alleged rape of a student at the Federal College of Science and Technology (FSTC) in Otukpo, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom ordered an investigation into the incident.

Benue State Attorney General and Justice Commissioner Michael Gusa in a statement on Tuesday cited the governor who led, on Monday, “security agencies against allegations of sexual assault against Federal College students. of Otukpo Science and Technology, by school staff.

This newspaper reported on Saturday how a store manager, Ernest Esly, allegedly raped an SSS 3 student at the college.

Federal college official in trouble for allegedly raping student

The federal education ministry said Mr Esly had been suspended following a report by a commission of inquiry, which charged staff.

“The man (Mr. Esly) has been suspended. Since this is a disciplinary matter, it has to go through the procedure: the State Higher Committee will examine it and make recommendations for the final measures to be taken, ”Bem Goong, spokesperson, told PREMIUM TIMES. speech of the Ministry of Education during a telephone interview.

But social activists said the alleged violation deserved legal punishment.

“The governor ordered that this matter be officially reported and forwarded to security agencies for proper investigation so that those responsible can be brought to justice,” Gusa’s statement read in part.

He added: “It is a threat to the girls who are in school, and that the staff of this school attack them, it does not speak well of our society and it does not speak well of the future of the school. girl . “

The attorney general revealed that his office had already taken up the case, as directed by Governor Ortom.

“In accordance with the directive, we wrote a complaint to the police commissioner and also wrote to the director of state state security services to conduct a discreet investigation into the case to verify the veracity of the allegation. . “

“Premium Times reported on December 4, 2021 that a certain staff member of the Federal College of Science and Technology in Otukpo, Mr. Ernest Esly, allegedly used his access to food in the school store to attract female students in immoral relationships.

“According to the report, Mr. Esly, who is in his 50s, is the store manager of the school, was previously suspended by the school administration and evicted from his residence on the staff premises for the alleged rape of ‘a 16 year old teenager. Student SSS 3 ”, the Commissioner referred to the report of this document.

Nathaniel Ikyur, Mr. Ortom’s chief press secretary, in a telephone interview with this reporter on Tuesday, also confirmed the governor’s directive on the matter.

Background

The Federal Ministry of Education has opened an investigation into the case following a letter from PREMIUM TIMES after several months of discussions with colleagues and alleged victims of Mr. Esly’s sexual assault.

FSTC Otukpo is one of 104 Unity Schools established by the Nigerian government to foster national unity and cohesion among the country’s many ethnic nationalities.

TEXEM

The school administration had suspended Ernest Esly, who is in his 50s, and kicked him out of his residence in the staff quarters for the alleged rape of the SSS 3 student.

Some students had reported in March that the young girl (name withheld) had slipped out of the hostel at night and was seen being abandoned the next morning by Mr Esly. They suspected that she had had sex with the manager of the store and that she had spent the night with him in his official quarters.

According to one of the teachers, following the report, the school asked its disciplinary committee chaired by the deputy director of administration, identified simply as Ms Agbor, to examine the case.

Based on the disciplinary committee’s findings, Mr. Esly was expelled from the college staff premises and suspended.

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