The police in Abia State said it is interrogating two students of the Abia State University in respect of the widely reported gang rape of a woman believed to be a student of the university.
A knowledgeable source within the police quickly dismissed the arrest as “an uncoordinated, trial and error action packaged to deceive the public.”
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Bala Hassan, told Nigeria Police Watch that detectives arrested an unnamed student whose face resembled one of the photographs being circulated on the internet as suspected rapist of the Abia woman.
He said the student’s roommate was also taken into custody for questioning.
Mr. Hassan admitted that it is difficult to pin the offence on those arrested because there was no serious evidence that the suspects actually committed the crime.
“What we have done is to pick up those whose names and photographs are close to those beeing circulated on the internet,” the police commissioner said. “But as you know, there are several people bearing the same names, and the burden of prove is on the prosecution.”
“We expect these guys to deny and there is nothing we can do if we have no additional evidence. And that is why we are urging those who know the rapists to come out and help us.”
Shortly after Mr. Hassan spoke to us, a source at the Abia State Police Command, said the police was not really serious about tracking down the rapists.
“The fact is that we have orders from above to do something so the international community does not see Nigeria as condoning crime,” the source said. “We have no way of proving that those arrested have anything to do with the crime. But we arrested them nonetheless to create the impression that we are doing something. We will release them quietly after the uproar over this case has died down.”
There has been widespread anger in Nigeria over a grainy video circulated on the internet where a Nigerian woman repeatedly asks her attackers to kill her as they take turns raping her at a university dormitory.