*School, Edo Police attempts to protect ‘their image’ in cover up
*Rally on defilement by CPN demands justice
Parents who have female children attending UNIBEN Consult Nursery/Primary school on Ekenwan Road, Benin City may be risking the health and lives of their daughters with rapists working as teachers. A three-year old girl (name withheld) was on the 8th November, 2016 defiled by a yet to be identified person in the school, yet, the Police is sluggish about investigating the matter moreso, the parents of the victims are poor.
According to reports made available to www.gongnews.net the father of the girl dropped her in school at 7:10am, the class teacher was not around at that time so the father put her in care of a Kindergarten 1 teacher who agreed that the girl was given to her in good state of health.
The Kindergarten 1 teacher, reported that she handed the girl over to the class teacher (Kindergarten 2) in same state of health. At about 12pm, the father of the girl said he received a call to come to school because his child is not feeling fine. He quickly rushed down only for the school head to ask funny questions like does she have pile?
The father responded that the child was in good state when he dropped her in school that morning. The man saw her girl bleeding seriously. The class teacher said the girl went to ease herself and came back with blood stains in her body. The teacher claimed he did not accompany the child so he could not explain what happened.
According to the parents she bled for five days! Right now the case is more interesting as the coalition of NGOs in Child Protection Network (CPN) led by Jennifer Ero went to the scene of this evil act on the 21st November 2016 in a rally, to request the school authority for the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrator lest it happens again.
CPN coordinator recalled during the rally of the increase in cases of child sexual molestation in schools. “The other day, a female teacher defiled a boy in one school. The boy identified the teacher and nothing has happened. In winners’ school, the case of the three-year old who went to the toilet and had to fetch water from a massive reservoir to flush the toilet, when he was about to pull the bucket, he was pulled into the reservoir and that child died drowning.
“This current case is annoying. The child’s hymen was badly ruptured. She had bruises and repeatedly said, ‘uncle did it’ yet the Police like the school are alleging may be the act took place at home but the bleeding only started after she got to school. No. This is unjust. We demand justice in this matter.”
According to Ero, “the police went on a search of the parents’ home and were asking the father of the girl annoying and leading questions as if to say he took on his daughter before taking her to school. The male staff of the school should have been invited, probed and the culprit caught. If this is not nipped in the bud, more will still happen and it may not be reported and made public. This has to stop.”
The team further moved to Esigie Police station to report the matter officially. “To us, the police is seemingly not interested in the matter. They have not done their work and they took the school to Magistrate Court II on Sapele road for negligence. Did the school raped the girl? Why are they protecting the rapist on their pay roll? The matter is coming up on the 30th November.
How can such kids be left unaided to go to toilet that is built away from the classes? Yet, the security block is just behind the toilet and it is manned by men. The girl is currently on medication and has been tested free from any kind of diseases and virus.
Mr Fela Bright, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Social Workers (NASOW) in a telephone interview told us, “this is very sad. Our colleagues on ground are also very angry about the increased incidence of rape in that state. Certainly, in NASOW we are going to take up this matter with the various authorities concerned. Like the civil society folks who did the Benin-City protest, we shall write the Inspector general of Police and the National Human Rights Commission on this particular incident. The fact that the victim’s father is poor does not gurantee they cannot get justice.”