On Wednesday, September 6, 2023, students of Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) raised an alarm over the disappearance of Miss Atanda Modupe Deborah, a 200-level student of the school’s nursing department. 

She was reportedly last seen in front of the school’s Pharmacy Twin Hall on Monday, September 4. Unfortunately, by Wednesday evening, the situation took a tragic turn. She was found dead and buried in a shallow grave in the school’s premises.

What happened?

According to fellow students, Miss Atanda was raped and killed. 

Ayo*, an accounting student at the university, provided some context. “She went for night reading, and when she didn’t come back the next day, some of her friends started a search party. The school authority was informed, but she was only found two days later in a shallow grave behind the Faculty of Pharmacy building. Her books and bag were found on a damaged bridge close by, and her earrings and pieces of clothing were found in a building close to the Pharmacy Twin Hall. She looked like she’d been raped but not mutilated or missing body parts, as the rumours claim.”

In the aftermath of her discovery, several students have voiced out their anger at the school’s lack of security personnel, night lights and student ID cards for proper identification. “We have forest-like bushes in Oye,” Bola*, another student, says. “Anyone can hide in those bushes and do anything they want. We don’t have security. At night, the school is dark. It’s not strange to hear that a student was robbed or molested in the dark, and there’s no way to even determine who is a student or not because we don’t have ID cards. The school doesn’t care about us.”

A protest in 2019 over the same poor electricity situation in the school led to the death of a student when protesting students were allegedly shot at by Nigerian police.

On Twitter, students and concerned individuals seeking justice for Miss Atanda are pushing hashtags like #justiceformodupe #blackwednesday and #makeFUOYEsafe.

What are the school and police saying?

The school authorities put out a press release on Wednesday, expressing their sadness over the unfortunate incident and urging “all stakeholders to be calm”. 

They also noted that several arrests have been made as an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Miss Atanda’s death is ongoing. The press release contained instructions for students to “vacate the premises with immediate effect, to ensure a proper, holistic and unimpeded, thorough investigation.”

The Commissioner of Police, Ekiti, released a statement that the body had been put in a morgue, and ten suspects were held for questioning as of Thursday, September 7th.

The school’s student union government and the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) also released similar statements.

This story will be updated as more details emerge.

*Names have been changed for the sake of anonymity.

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