Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Godsgift Onyedinefu

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has decried the delay in commencement of the investigative public hearing in the House of Representatives to unravel the circumstances which led to the alleged rape and eventual death of 14 year old boarding student of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja (PALA), Miss Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akphagher.

According to an alleged medical report from Queen Clinic where she died, Keren-Happuch died on the 22nd of June 2021 after the condom left inside her by a killer-rapist infected her with sepsis, which spiked her blood sugar, compromised her immunity, leading to her death by hyperglycemia. 

Specifically, following a motion presented by Hon. Mark Gbilah on the floor of the House of Representatives on 7th of December 2021, the House resolved to conduct an Investigative public hearing into the rape and death of Keren-Happuch. 

The House also reportedly directed the Inspector General of Police to conduct DNA test for all male staff of the said school in Lughbe Abuja and march it with the dead spermatozoa found in Keren’s urine. Premier Academy in Abuja where the victim was a boarding student has however denied allegations that the teenage student was raped by anyone within their school premises. 

However, over eight weeks after these far reaching resolutions were made, HURIWA, in a statement signed by its national coordinator,  Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko,  lamented that the House of Representatives seem to have developed  cold feet about enforcing or implementing its own resolutions. 

The Rights Advocacy Group affirmed thus: “We appreciate the far-reaching resolutions of the House of Representatives to uncover the alleged rape and death of Keren-Happuch. But the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) is concerned that eight weeks after these resolutions were made, the House of Representatives seem to have developed a cold feet.  This is surely not good for the image of the green chambers. This seeming reluctance and delay can only achieve one thing – help the alleged killer-rapist to buy more time and evade justice”

“In case the import of their resolution to conduct investigative public hearing on the matter is lost on the lawmakers, HURIWA wishes to point out that a public hearing will go along way in reminding management of schools all across Nigeria and beyond  that they are accountable for whatever happens to a child entrusted in their care in line with the principle of in loco parentis.  It will further clean up the aegean stable and the oozing odour in the global community that Nigeria as a Sovereign nation does not care about her Children. 

“The public investigative hearing by the House of Representatives will also demonstrate the resolve of the green chambers to help curtail the alarming rise in sexual violence and particularly child sexual abuse in Nigeria. They cannot afford to delay anymore as this will send a wrong message to the Nigerian people as to their seriousness to address this societal malaise.

HURIWA also calls on the House to urge the  Inspector General of Police to protect the Executive Director of Men Against Rape Foundation and Leader of the Coalition of Gender Based Violence Responders, Lemmy Ughegbe whose life has been under alleged threat for seeking justice for Keren-Happuch. 

“All security agencies and people of good will must continually support the work Ughegbe has been doing to address Sexual and Gender Based Violence generally and provide access to justice for victims, survivors and their families.”

As reported by the media, in their determined to fish out the alleged killer-rapists of 14 year old Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akphagher, the House of Representatives has ordered the Inspector General of Police to conduct DNA on all staff of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja and march it with the dead spermatozoa found in her urine.

Keren died on the 22nd of June 2021 after contracting sepsis as a result of condom left inside her after being raped allegedly at Premiere Academy, Lugbe, where she was a boarding student. The School stridently denied the allegation. 

However after over five months after she died, the Ministers of the Federal Capital Territory, Women Affairs and Education, Pauline Tallen and Adamu Adamu, have neither spoken nor taken any action to ensure that the culprit is found, brought to book and the school is investigated over its complicity leading to Keren’s rape and death.

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