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: June 18, 2018

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Institution(s):Adekunle Ajasin University

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

In the early morning hours of June 18, 2018, members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad within the Nigerian police force reportedly entered a student hostel at Adekunle Ajasin University, and physically attacked, arrested, and extracted bribes from the students who were present.  

According to reports, five police officers entered the hostel around 4:00 am, just after the end of a student-hosted party. The officers claimed they were searching for members of a cult, but began beating students. The officers reportedly accepted bribes from some of the students, while arresting at least three students who were unable to afford to pay the officers. Those students were released from detention shortly thereafter. Students have alleged that members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad have engaged in similar tactics in the past.  As of this report, five officers involved in this incident have been arrested.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent attacks, wrongful arrests, and extortion targeting students. Such activity undermines a university’s ability to ensure a safe, free learning environment. State authorities have a responsibility to ensure the security of higher education communities, to prevent future attacks, and to hold perpetrators accountable.