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Prominent civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Tuesday, demanded the immediate suspension of an Associate Professor in the Department of History and International Studies at the Federal University of Lafia, Fred Ekpa Ayokhai, over the assault of his daughter’s friend.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the likes of Ayokhai and other that manifests tendencies that arent too distinguished from wild lions don’t deserve to be in classrooms, else they will turn to devour all students when their temper rise.
The group also urged the Nasarawa State Police Command to get justice for the victim, Blessing Mathias, who was physically abused by Ayokhai and his three children.
HURIWA has set up a two member legal team to observe the matter from the next adjourned date.
Viral videos showed the lecturer and his three children assaulting the helpless girl who was stripped naked, battered with sticks, and her clothes cut with scissors after she was driven to the middle of a bush.
Ayokhai’s daughter had a disagreement with her friend, Mathias and the former invited her family members to deal with the victim over who has the right to the phone number of a certain man.
Ayokhai and his children – Emmanuela Ayokhai, Bob Praise Ayokhai and Saint-Dan Ayokhai have already been arraigned at High Court 1, Nasarawa State before Justice Aisha Bashir-Aliyu on six counts of criminal conspiracy, house breaking and criminal force or assault to woman with intent to outrage modesty, kidnapping and inflicting physical injury.
The offences are punishable under Section 97 of the Penal Code Law of Northern Nigeria, Section 3(1) & 4 of the Nasarawa State Kidnapping(prohibition) Law, 2019, Section 268(2) & 354 of the Penal Code Law of Northern Nigeria and Section 3(1) of the Nasarawa State Violence Against Persons (prohibition) Law, 2019.
The case has been assigned to High Court, Obi for trail while the suspects have been remanded in prison custody pending formal arraignment.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The Ayokhai acted in an animalistic manner and should be dealt with swiftly by the law. HURIWA demands the immediate suspension of Dr. Fred 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 by tomorrow send an open letter to the offices of the Frist 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 withthe 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”, the rights group said.