By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
The spate of sexual abuse among other forms of abuse is a common characteristics of Gender Based Violence(GBV) in the Nigeria society today especially on campuses of our. tertiary institutions. It is fast trending negatively between lecturers and students. In some cases, affect even non students who fall victims as a result of unavoidable circumstances due to poor economic status.
The dramatic tendencies are so dynamic that those with unimaginable influence take advantage of weaknesses of their victims to cause the act.
However, this unfolding consequence has over time, cut short the future, psychological balance , opportunities and potentials of victims with attendant magnitude of stigmatisation that trail their future.
In any case, for the past four months, all has not been well in Shehu Shagari College of Education , Sokoto(SSCOE) sequel to alleged mind boggling issues of sexual abuse on the campus.
The most pathetic is that of a non student victim, Aisha Yusuf, 18, of Kasarawa Area, Sokoto who was allegedly abused sexually and got impregnated by a lecturer (name withheld) of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto has reportedly died following attempt by the suspected lecturer to abort the alleged pregnancy linked to him.
Though, not a student of the College and coming from a poor home where three square meals could hardly come by, late Aisha, a primary school leaver had the ambition of furthering her education before she was webbed in the alleged circumstance that cost her life three months ago.
Even as the case remain against the state, the parent had since declared to leave the matter to God saying it was how she(Aisha ) was destined to die and nothing they could do. More so, the police is said to be aware of the death of Aisha.
However, her death has over time, left neighbours and some family members in confusion over the conflicting versions linked to the incident.
While a version said she died as a result of severe headache and stomach pain, another by the alleged suspect said Aisha was electrocuted while the third version said she lost her life while attempting to abort the alleged pregnancy.
Besides, the brewing concerns over the victim’s demise, occasioned by the alleged circumstance , has brought to fore the quest for justice and law to take it course even as no step taken to conduct an autopsy to determine the circumstance that led to Aisha’s shocking death.
The source further said ” the most pathetic side of the story is that the father is a wheel barrow pusher and a casual watch man in charge of the security of structures and tools at a project site within the college.”
The source continued” this incident happened on 15th August, 2019, a lecturer has been having affair with the deceased only to suddenly call her parent to tell them that Aisha is dead as a result of electrocution after he took her to the hospital.
” Surprisingly, in the process of burying the deceased, we noticed there was bleeding coming from her private organ which threw some suspicion on the minds of people who attended the burial rites.
” At that point, to the best of my knowledge, I became disturbed and felt something was fishy. I immediately contacted Mr Koko , an Assistant Commissioner of Police (CID), Koko and told him and he swiftly arranged a team of plain cloth police who quizzed the lecturer for investigation but unfortunately, got released within three days. As I am talking to you now, nothing has been heard of the case again and the college authorities have not taken any action.”
” I am afraid if justice had not been jettisoned for materialism. Though, I got an insight that money allegedly exchanged hands and the Provost of the College refuse to make any move against the suspected lecturer who single handedly returned the body of Aisha.”
Aisha had before her demise been fraternising with them but we cannot say who between them allegedly impregnated her. But surely, she died of attempt to abort the alleged pregnancy.”
Narrating his part, father of the deceased, Malam Yusuf Hassan who hails from Giwa local Government in Zaria , Kaduna state when contacted told The Nation that” To start with , I am the father of Aisha. I lost my job with a firm and just parching to survive with my family when I was approached to give her out for some domestic work which she will be paid N10,000 monthly.
” I was not aware of my daughter’s pregnancy nor abortion before her death.
” I knew she was complaining of headache and stomach pain and came to me for some money(N500) to go to hospital and I told her I had no money but only N20 with me.
” She said she was going to her employer to borrow some money pending when she get her salary. I said its okay then she left to her employer who borrowed her N500 and took her to the hospital.
” To my surprise, her mother called me to ask where I was and I told her at work. She said I should come home now. I asked what happened. ‘Just come down’, she repeated.
” On getting home, she looked at me twice and bursted into tears profusely, when I asked why the cry what happened? She said Aisha is no more. She said Kabiru just called to tell her. I immediately recited ” Inna lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raji’un ” From Allah we came and to Him we shall all return.”
” I made attempt to get to the hospital to meet heremployer but a neighbour said no. Since I had no money, he will go instead. I remained home.
” Though, I was not told the hospital where her corps was. When I engaged the mother after the burial rites, She said there was an earlier conversation between her and Aisha who told her that she was going to the hospital and in case She could return the mother should off set a debt of ”Ase’obi”which she bought for a wedding and has not been paid for”, I became dumb founded.
The deceased father who further confirmed that the case had been reported to the police added” we have not heard anything from them since it was reported. They only told us to go back home they will look for us when necessary .”
It also gathered that the suspected lecturer allegedly linked to the incident visited the deceased family house along with his colleagues on condolence.
According to Hassan” Tanko personally gave us N20, 000 while the union under which Aisha worked gave us assorted food items”, he stated.
When contacted on the matter, Provost of the College, Dr Wadata Hakimi said he had no knowledge of the incident rather directed that the chairman, COEASU , Malam Mansir be contacted who also declined to make comment but said” I am not the employer of Kabiru Tanko. You should meet the college authority.”
However, confirming the incident when contacted, the Sokoto state police command through its Acting PPRO, ASP Abdulkadir Ibrahim Datti said the police was aware of the alleged homicide case through intelligence gathering and subsequently traced it to UDUTH where the body of Aisha was found.
Datti who stood in for DSP Abubakar Sadik, who is away on course said” when our team of investigators arrived the hospital, they met some hospital cleaners who told them that on her arrival, she(Aisha) suddenly collapsed and before getting the attention of the Doctor she gave up.
” We checked her handset and traced the last call and caller and found out it was Tanko and we immediately dialed his number and got him arrested as the prime suspect and later informed the parent of her death. The father who during investigation, confessed that the deceased was complaining of severe headache and stomach pain which he gave her N20 to buy drug.”
” After our investigation, we discovered there was no established evidence linking him (Tambuwal) to the death of Aisha as a result of either abortion or any other crime of homicide nature hence we gave him on bail to the college authority.
” But we emphasised that if the college authorities eventually establish any evidence to support the abortion allegation against Tanko, should come up with it and we shall rearrest him to revisit the matter for justice to take its course” , he said.
However, Aisha’s case has further unravelled similar incident of a lecturer in the college who ventured into the act of “sex for marks” with a student of the college.
The potential victim it was learnt, alerted the Human Rights Commission who took the matter to the Sokoto state Commissioner of Police and the lecturer was arrested after a set up where he invited the student to a hotel and was eventually arrested with trousers down his knees.
The police it was further gathered wrote the college authorities on the matter and released the suspect on the grounds that he was not caught in the act but warned and advised the college to be vigilant against such characters in their midst with unwelcome tendencies and said the police is ready to swing into action if any evidence is made known to the police by the college authorities.
Days after, upon the response of the police, findings from the Usmanu Danfodiyo Teaching Hospital, Sokoto where the suspect(Tambuwal) claimed to have taken the deceased to for medical attention before she gave up the ghost, revealed that there was no official record traced to the claim by the lecturer.
When contacted, the hospital’s Public Relations Officer, Malam Buhari Abubakar said ” even if it so a dead corpse brought to the hospital,must be certified by a doctor and deposited in the morgue where there are no family relations to make arrangement for conveyance. A certificate will be issued. But in this case, he claimed to have brought the deceased who eventually collapsed and died within the hospital and not on admission. From our records( medical records department ) we do not have any such case. And there was no autopsy carried out on the corpse for detail certification? In fact , the deceased was not brought to this hospital except somewhere else.
” Besides, the policy is that if such thing happens within the hospital, you cannot take back the corpse until the necessary examination are carried out for certification”, he explained.
However, in subsequent moves to get to identify the place and spot where the deceased was taken to before her demise, we learnt from a source that the suspect , Tambuwal, took her to his house located within the College to allegedly abort the alleged pregnancy with the aid of a corps member (doctor) serving in the college and while in the process, she (Aisha) died as a result of profuse bleeding. Blood was every where on the floor which was eventually cleaned up by some alleged clinic staff.
” Tambuwal carried out the alleged abortion on Aisha in his house with the aid of the doctor corps member”, the source stressed.
Meanwhile, the College is alleged to be a notorious enclave for sexual abuse as recently, a case of abandoned baby was allegedly report’s.
Sources from within the college said after a successful delivery, the baby was dressed and wrapped in a carton and abandoned at a refuse dump site within the college premises.
” This incident happened on December 11th, 2019. Passers bye heard the cry of a baby when attention turned to the direction and was found to be abandoned in a carton before people started coming down to see for themselves. Though, no trace had been made of the owner of the baby”, a source said