By Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
Controversy is trailing the expulsion of three students of Rivers State College of Health Sciences and Management Technology Port Harcourt over alleged involvement in gang rape of a female student and cultism by the institution’s authorities.
The College, in a statement by its Registrar, Kuapie Ndee-Ue, had in a memo released on 18 December, 2020 informed the public that the three students: Ferdinard Bruse, Sunday Steve, and Nadum Sampson have been expelled from the school by the academic board over their alleged involvement in a case of rape and cultism.
But speaking on behalf of others, one of the students, Sunday Steve had denied involvement in the crimes that they allegedly committed.
He alleged that the school authorities never give them fair hears over the allegations while maintaining that they did not gang rape ‘Bianca’ or any other female student.
He explained that the moment the matter was reported, the security outfit in the school arrested him and other accused students and subjected them to severe torture without telling them the offense they have committed.
He said they were released after hours of detention by the school.
He added that the school did not give them a fair hearing neither was they handed over or invited by the Police.
Reacting to the claim, an advocacy group, Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign asked Rivers State Police command to thoroughly investigate how the investigation of the allegations against the student was handled by the school authorities.
The Secretary Board of Trustee of the group Prince Wiro, in a statement disclosed that information available to the group also indicated that the three students who were in their final years were arrested by the institution’s security operatives who did involve the police in their investigation.
Mr. Wiro said the intervention of the group is to make sure that there is no miscarriage of justice in the matter.
The rights advocacy group also urged the school authorities to make available the documents they used to indict the three students available to the Police for further investigation.
The group said allegations of rape cannot be investigated and concluded by the school without recourse to the Police.
It further called on the Police to investigate the allegations with a view to unraveling the level of culpability of the expelled students and if found culpable, they should be made to face the law.
But when contacted, the Provost of the institution, Professor Franklyn, said the College followed due process in the expulsion of the students and also gave them the opportunity to defend themselves.
He added that the matter was also reported to Divisional Police headquarters at Sani Abacha Road, Port Harcourt.