Thursday, 12 April 2018

6 Yrs-Old Gang Raped by Two Teachers Suffers Stigma, Threats from Proprietress

Rebecca Ejifoma
Peaklane School, where the alleged gang rape case happened
Barely a month after six years old girl, Sofuwa (not real name), was allegedly raped by two male teachers – Mr. Leke and Mr. Anyawu of Peaklane primary school, Ogun state – parents of the victim have finally withdrawn their daughter following the rate of stigma she allegedly suffered in the hands of the proprietress, teachers and other pupils.

Earlier last month, March, the Ogun State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ahmed Iliyasu, ordered the transfer of Leke and Anyawu arrested on Wednesday by the Ajuwon Police for allegedly gang-raping the pupil inside the toilet at Peaklane private school in the Akute area of the state to the Criminal Investigation Department at the Command Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident, which has evoked much trouble for the victim’s family than for the perpetrators. This is coming as parents of the victims have allegedly received threats from the school authorities among others to drop the charges.

Sadly, the mother of the survivor, Mrs. Afolabi – who was with Child Protection Network (CPN) during a survivors' meeting recently – lamented the stigma and double shame her little baby girl faced the school since the ugly incident. 

Unfortunately, the girl was left in that school because she needed to complete the session before getting a transfer but the proprietress, teachers and students would not let her be. The mother said.

She added: “They always bully her, call her names. They even said I wanted to use her to extort money from the school, that she wanted to destroy the school which was built with much effort. They also do not understand how far with the police over there. I know that this is outside Lagos jurisdiction but is there a way of connecting with the Police and CPN in Ogun State to support the family please?”

When this reporter contacted the family, the father, Mr. Afolabi, expressed that her little baby girl had been withdrawn from the school following the threats. “She is better now. There is no more insult or stigma. We plan to enroll her in another school when we move to a new environment”.

He expressed further that some residents in the community have already begun to withdraw their children from the school for fear of sexual assault. “Everyone in my area has heard what happened to my daughter”.

As though the school had not done enough harm to the life of the six years old, the proprietress of the school, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Nwachukwu, told me that her daughter was possessed with evil spirits and that “I should come with her for deliverance”. Afolabi decried.

Meanwhile, the mother admitted that she had not been herself since the ugly incident. She also alleged that she and her husband had been getting series of threats from the school proprietress. “The school proprietress had called me several times and scolded me. She said my daughter was possessed and our family enmeshed in poverty; that is why we are dragging down her school".

This reporter, however, tried to reach the proprietress of the school through several phone calls and text messages to react to the allegations levelled against her but all to no avail. Some of the accusations against her and her teachers included: stigmatising the victim until she was withdrawn from the school, threatening victim’s parents and names calling.

In a swift chat with the Head of Rescue and Referral, Child Protection Network, Lagos He is the Assistant Secretary, Coordinator for Oshodi /Isolo and Rescue Team Leader CPN – Mr. Ebenezer Omejalile, he said: “We are going to close down that school. Let the proprietress keep threatening everybody. Justice must be served.”

He added: “I just spoke with the victim's father. He said the court only granted them bail of 1million naira each.”

According to Omejalile, the magistrate spoke with the little girl and her (girl) statement  was not different from what was earlier written down at the police station.

The case has been adjourned till Friday April 13 this year for hearing at the high court.