Students at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, who went for a night class to read for their examinations, had a nightmarish experience at the hands of armed robbers who invaded their reading hall, the CBN auditorium, at the Town Campus, Ikpa Road, Sunday night.
Following the event, the school has announced a one-day postponement of the first semester examinations which was to begin Monday.
The students, PREMIUM TIMES learned, were robbed of their laptops, phones, money and other personal belongings during the robbery incident which occurred around 10.36p.m.
The robbers were said to have raped a female student in the hall.
Another set of armed robbers were said to have also robbed the students who were reading that night at Old Business Lecture Hall, at the annex campus of the university, still along Ikpa Road.
A female student who resides on campus told PREMIUM TIMES that some of the female students who were robbed ran down to the female hostel, Hall 3 (Prefab), that night at about 10.50pm.
“The hostel door was already locked, but they had to open it for them,” she said.
“They girls looked distressed. They were crying. Their dresses were dusty, which is an indication that the robbers may have forced them to lie down on the floor,” she said.
On Monday morning, some angry students protested within the campus against the robbery incident. They blocked the university main gate, preventing people from coming in or going out of the school.
The protesting students dispersed after the deputy vice chancellor (administration) and the dean of students’ affairs came to address them.
When a PREMIUM TIMES reporter visited the campus, two police Hilux trucks were seen parked in front of the school gate.
The Students’ Union President, Kufre Samuel, admitted to this newspaper that there was tension within the campus. He said he was going round to talk to the students to remain calm while the school authorities investigate the incident.
The university spokesman, Godfrey Essien, said the incident was not “a very ugly one”.
“This is a higher institution where you have different kinds of people. It is almost like a village with a 20,000 population. It’s a thing that normally happens in institutions like this,” Mr. Essien said.
Mr. Essien said the university has its own internal security as well as a private security outfit which provides security on campus. He said the school was going to get a report of the incident from the security personnel on campus.
The police could not be reached for their comment on the issue. The police spokesperson in the state, Cordelia Nwawe, did not respond to the calls and a text message sent to her phone.