SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: May 26, 2012

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

Dr Okey Ikpeze, Provost of the College of Health Sciences at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (Eastern Nigeria), was abducted by unknown gunmen while he was on his way from Awka to Onitsha in Eastern Nigeria. According to reports, the abductors demanded ransom of fifty (50) million naira (approximately US $317,500). In reaction to the news of the abduction, students of the institution attempted to embark on a street protest march to demand the immediate release of the scholar but were prevented from doing so by security. A professor in the faculty of law who prefers to be anonymous states that one of the effects of this event is that lecturers now vacate their office during the day so as to avoid being on campus alone and becoming a victim of abduction. There is a feeling of insecurity on campus especially amongst the academic staff who fear that any of them could be the next victim. So far, the police have remained helpless and families of abducted lecturers have had to collect funds to pay the ransom demanded.