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Police open fire on Abia poly students protesting rape of 3 colleagues by RRS officers

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Policemen of the Abia command on Thursday shot into crowd of protesting students of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, who were demonstrating at the institution’s campus.

The students were protesting the rape of their colleagues by officers of the police Rapid Response Squad as well as the non accreditation of the Civil Engineering Department of the school, Sun newspaper reported.

In a footages seen on social media, policemen were seen opening fire on students at the gate of the institution. While many protesters retreated at the release of gunshots, a few were seen hauling back stones at the operatives.

At least one student was seen on the ground near the gate. It was not clear whether he has been felled by the police bullet or just taking cover from the heavy shelling.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has condemned in the strongest of terms, the shooting by some Police officers on Thursday at the Abia State Polytechnic Aba during a protest by students of the institution.

In a Press release by Onyebuchi Ememanka, his Chief Press Secretary, Ikpeazu said that “the action of the Police officers was excessive, uncalled for and could aggravate an already tense situation which could lead to collateral damages.”

“Shooting at unarmed students who were protesting the alleged sexual assault of one of them by a Police officer is against all known and recognised rules of engagement by law enforcement officers who could have employed other means other than deadly force to disperse the protesting students,” Ikpeazu noted.

He also promised that the state government was already looking into the issues.

Governor Ikpeazu urged the State Police Commissioner and the Area Commander in charge of Aba to ensure that the officers who were involved in Thursday’s shooting are identified and disciplined in line with extant Police regulations, while further ensuring that such display of disproportionate force doesn’t happen again.

The Governor further advised the students to be disciplined and avoid taking the law into their hands even while protesting, adding that they must, at all times, exercise restraint when confronted by Police on lawful duty.