The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has demanded the suspension, with immediate effect, of a lecturer at the Federal University of Lafia, Dr Fred Ekpa Ayokhai.
The academic, according to HURIWA, assaulted his daughter’s friend. The accused, an associate professor, is of the Department of History and International Studies.
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA’s national coordinator, stated this in a release on Tuesday. It also called on the Nasarawa State Police Command to wade into the matter for the sake of justice.
The victim, Blessing Mathias, according to HURIWA, was physically abused by Ayokhai and his three children. HURIWA said it had inaugurated a two-member legal team to observe the matter from the next adjourned date.
A video of the incident showed the lecturer and his three children assaulting the victim. She was stripped naked, battered with sticks, with her clothes torn.
Investigations show that Ayokhai’s daughter quarrelled with the victim, who was later lured to the lecturer’s house where she was dealt with.
Meanwhile, Ayokhai and his children – Emmanuela Ayokhai, Bob Praise Ayokhai and Saint-Dan Ayokhai – have appeared before Justice Aisha Bashir-Aliyu of the High Court in Nasarawa State on six counts of criminal conspiracy, criminal force and assault, among others.
According to HURIWA, “The Ayokhai acted in an animalistic manner and should be dealt with swiftly by the law. HURIWA demands the immediate suspension of Ayokhai as a professor in a university by President Muhammadu Buhari who is the visitor to the school and the ministers of education.
“The president should handle this as if this is his daughter as a father of many daughters. The man who led his family to assault the young lady should not be allowed to teach in any of our universities because that will be tantamount to releasing a wild lion into a densely populated city and this is counterproductive.
“We call for speedy trial and we are pleased that the matter was assigned to the most appropriate judicial venue for this sort of serious offences.
“The Nasarawa State first lady, Silifat Abdullahi Sule, should ensure that this case is not swept under the carpets or else the state becomes a danger zone for teenage girls. We will monitor and observe this case henceforth.
“HURIWA will send an open letter to the offices of the first lady of Nigeria and the first lady of Nasarawa State to make a clear demand that those two pivotal offices for the promotion and protection of the rights of women and girls should also send legal representatives to join in the prosecution of this university teacher whose behaviour has portrayed the academic title of Professor as that bestowed on a person with the wrong temperament.
“We urge all the girls’ rights advocacy groups in the North and Abuja to kindly coordinate their efforts to get swift justice for this school girl.”
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