Connect with us

Media

Death of teenage student, Kerem: HURIWA urges House of Reps to commence probe of alleged rape
 

Published

on

Share this story

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 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.
 
This prompted the Coalition of Gender Based Violence Responders led by the Executive Director of Men Against Rape Foundation (MARF), Lemmy Ughegbe to embark on a protest walk to the National Assmebly with Keren’s mother, Mrs Vivien Vihimga Akphagher and other family members.
 
Ughegbe accused the ministers of FCT, Education and Women Affairs of a conspiracy of silence and inaction, which he said “incentivises rape and pedophilia, emboldens rapists and pedophiles and make schools and the society unsafe for our children and the vulnerable.”
 
“When the grandson of a political elite was allegedly beaten to death by his teacher in a school in Kwali, all these indolent ministers picked up the story from social media within minutes and took some steps immediately, but 5 months after Keren died following health complications and despite our correspondence to them, they have been in a conspiracy of silence and inaction”, Ughegbe lamented.
 
He said by their inaction, they have shown that all they are interested in is servicing of the political elites and their families. They have acted as though Keren’s life doesn’t matter. But we shall continue to call them out for the ineffectual and hypocritical public officers that they are.
 
In his address to the protesters, the speaker of the House of Representatives who was represented by Hon. Mark Gbilah, said the entire parliament was pained by the sad circumstances leading to the death of Keren, declaring that no school was above the law.
 
According to Gbilah ”the house is in session, but when we were notified that you people were here on a peaceful protest, the speaker asked me to come and address you people. I am therefore here at his instance. Yesterday, I was able to table the motion on the floor of the house and I made very far-reaching demands and what you said about DNA test is specifically indicated as a requirement and the police have been mandated to initiate an investigation through Inspector General of Police on this matter.
 
“They have been told to carry out a DNA test on everybody in that school. They have informed me that the spermatozoa have been preserved so that we will know who is responsible for this act.
 
“Also we are going to have public investigative hearing and the Minister of Women Affairs, Minister of FCT, The Inspector General of Police, Minister of Education and the school authority will be invited.
 
“It is a shame that our children can no longer be safe and this is totally unacceptable. But let me assure you that for some of us, when we start something, we follow it to the end. So, please, we will need the news report where the police confirmed that Keren was raped. This will be useful for the investigative panel. I assure you justice shall be done and we will find the culprit.”
 
On Tuesday, December 7th, 2021, Hon Gbilah moved a motion to investigate the school, which was adopted by the House of Representatives.
 
The motion titled “Suspected Rape and Murder of 14–Years Old Miss Keren–Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher: Hon. Mark Terseer Gbillah: The House Notes the reported death of Miss Keren–Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher, a 14–year old SS1 boarding student of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja, who was allegedly raped and eventually died on 22 June 2021 from medical complications as a result of rape; Also notes that Keren was reported to have taken ill on 16 June 2021, without adequate medical care by Premiere Academy, until the mother took her to a hospital in Wuse Zone 6 Abuja on 19 June 2021 where she eventually died three days later; Worried that the Medical examination before her death revealed a condom lodged in her private part which had a milky effusion with the presence of dead spermatozoa within the fluid which had caused an infection that developed into sepsis; Alarmed at the unwillingness of Premiere Academy to uncover the truth behind Keren’s death and the management media denial of previous cases of sexual harassment of students in the institution contrary to documentary evidence; Also alarmed at the lack of proactive and thorough investigation by the Nigeria Police Force even after formal correspondence to the police by the deceased family’s lawyers and the allegations by Amnesty International of harassment and threat to the lives of Keren’s mother, Vivien Akpagher, her family and the leader of the Coalition of Gender–Based Violence Responders and his family over their public campaigns and advocacy demanding justice for Keren; Disturbed that while the world recently observed the United Nations International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November 2021 with the theme “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now! which marked the launch of the 16–day campaign “Unite to End Violence against Women” from 25 November 2021 to 10 December 2021, Nigerian Authorities do not appear to recognize its obligation to adopt and implement appropriate measures to ensure women and girls are protected from all forms of violence including rape and sexual harassment considering the nation’s ratification of several Domestic, Regional And International Protocols and Charters on Women’s rights, ending Violence against Women and other Human rights laws including Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which guarantees that no Nigerian shall be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment.
 
Resolves to: (i) Urge the Nigeria Police Force to thoroughly investigate mysteries surrounding the death of Keren, allegations of harassment and threat to the life of Keren’s family and the leader of a Coalition of Gender–Based Violence and his family and carry out a DNA test, recover spermatozoa and test Premiere Academy staff to identify anyone liable and bring him to justice; (ii) mandate the Committees on Woman Affairs, Human Rights and Police Affairs to invite stakeholders to investigate the following: (a) Circumstances surrounding the death of Keren–Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher; (b) allegations of the unwillingness of the Nigeria Police Force to initiate an investigation into the death of Keren; (c) allegations of harassment and threat to the life of Keren’s family and the leader of an NGO and his family; (d) Previous cases of sexual harassment at Premiere Academy Abuja; (e) Other incidents of Violence against Women in Nigeria; (f) probable lapses by other relevant agencies handling the incident and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action; (iii) observe a minute of silence in honour of Miss Keren–Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher and other victims of violence against women in Nigeria.”
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Media

NGE President charges Gov. Ododo to consolidate on Bello’s legacies

Published

on

By

Share this story

***says Kogi is working in terms of infrastructure, Health

By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr Eze Anaba has charged Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo of Kogi State to consolidate and improve on the level of infrastructural development attained under the last administration of governor Yahaya Bello.

Anaba made the call on Saturday in Okene while on tour of on-going projects by the present administration of Governor Ododo and the Legacy Projects of the immediate past administration of former Governor Yahaya Bello in the state.

Anaba noted that the immediate past administration left a legacy worthy of emulation adding that the good work of former Governor Bello should be sustained by the present administration.

“Government is a continuum. And I would advise the current governor, to follow the footsteps of his predecessor.

“It’s only in that way that the citizenry will benefit. Kogi State will continue to grow and people will reckon that democracy has taken root in Kogi State and the people are benefiting.

“At the end of the day, governance is about the people. So, from what I’ve seen, from what my colleagues saw, I think Kogi is working in terms of infrastructure and in terms of medical care that I saw.

Speaking on the Reference Hospital, Okene, Anaba said, “From a layman’s perspective, I’m not a doctor, but from what the doctors have told me and from what I saw, it’s been hugely impressive.

“The MRI machine, the other laboratory equipments, very, very impressive. And I have to commend the Kogi State government for making this available. And I also suggest that people should put this to test.

“And if these things work, they will save Nigeria a huge sum of money. Recently, the CBN governor told the whole world that medical tourism alone is costing this country fortunes.

“So, if people test and try this, I’m sure it will save this country a lot of money and put our economy in good stead. You also know that healthy citizens make a great country. And I’m sure that if these things continue, with what we have seen here, Nigerians will be happier for it”, he said.

On his general assessment of the legacy and on-going projects, the NGE President said, “I think Kogi is working in terms of infrastructure

“Democracy is about the people and the facilities we have seen, the road construction we saw and the traffic time they have saved people of Kogi State and Nigeria in general…

“That alone will help the country boost our economy and help the citizens. People waste and lose lives in traffic. If the road network is strong like we saw, I am sure Nigeria will be better for it.

“I am highly commending the state government for what me and my team have seen so far* he said. (Ends)

Continue Reading

Media

Ribadu, Akume, Wike to grace National Security Summit in Abuja Next Thursday

Published

on

By

George Akume
Share this story

The National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume and the minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nyesom Wike are expected to grace a national Security Conference in Abuja next Thursday.

The event which is being organized by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in partnership with the New National Star Newspaper with the Theme National Security and Development, will have as the Guest Speaker, former Inspector-General of Police and current Chairman of Police Service Commission (PSC)
Dr. Solomon Arase
He will speak on “Citizen Engagement in the fight against crime and criminalities in Nigeria.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday at the NUJ national headquarters in Abuja, the Managing Director Editor-in-Chief New National Star Newspapers, Obinna Nwachukwu said the conference is designed to address the growing insecurity in Nigeria.

“As you are aware, in more than a decade now, Security has become a major issue in Nigeria. No where is safe. Even Abuja and the FCT the nation’s capital is not safe like before.
“But one thing is clear, although insecurity is everywhere in the country, still, each region/zone has its own peculiar security issues.
“In the South-South it is crude oil theft, oil bunkering and sea pirates. In the South East is the menace of the now infamous “ unknown gun men”.
“In the North East is Boko Haram /terrorism, North West is illegal oil mining while North Central is Farmers/Herders crisis etc
“However, in all these zones, armed robbery, kidnapping and murder are common experiences .”
According to him, the conference is designed to bring all key stakeholders together to address the issues with a view to finding a lasting, workable solutions.

“It is part of our contributions to societal growth and development. It shall bring together, security stakeholders, professionals, political leaders, Civil society Organizations, journalists, community and religious leaders, citizens and residents in the country, with the aim of reaching out to each other to collectively addressing the growing insecurity in the country .
He said, Senator George Akume, has accepted to chair the conference while Mallam Nuhu Ribadu is the Special Guest of Honour

He listed Sub themes and Speakers to include finding Lasting solution to security Challenges in Nigeria the Role of Political, Religious and Community Leaders by H.E Ambassador Godknows .O. Igali, PhD, OON, Pro-Chancellor & Chairman Governing Council, FUTA
“Intelligence gathering and Information sharing as critical aspects of National Security by Chief Ray Nkemdirim, MFR, Former Director (Operations) DSS
“Combating Cyber security and Internet Fraud in Nigeria by Hon. Shade Adepeju Joseph, Cyber Security Consultant
“The role of the Media in the fight against insecurity in Nigeria by Dr. Iyobosa Uwujaren, General-Secretary, Nigerian Guild of Editors and Combating Crude oil theft in the Niger Delta: The Tantita experience by a representative of the company.

According to him, the conference will foster connection among citizens and critical stakeholders, security administrators and leaders.
“Through knowledge sharing and collaboration, ideas leading to strategic resolutions will be developed, with agreed mechanisms for implementation, towards safeguarding our environment and restoring security and safety in the nation. “By coming together, we will share insights on how we, as individuals, community and organizations should respond to incidents and the role and responsibilities we have to secure our communities.
The conference which take place at NAF conference center, Abuja by 9am Thursday next week is expected to have in attendance Heads of all security agencies, the National Security Adviser and other critical security stakeholders, heads of paramilitary agencies, representatives of local community policing groups, Area Council Chairmen in FCT, community leaders, heads of academic institutions, residential estate representatives, heads of identified professional groups and other strategic persons.
NUJ National President, Chris Isiguzor said the issue of security is everybody’s business so everybody must have to be involved in one way or the other. “When you talk about the media having responsibility the responsibility of informing, it imply means we must pass the right information. It is also our duty to educate, we must properly educate our people and when the tension is so high it is also our responsibility to also entertain to douse the tension.
“So you can see from any flank you are looking at it the media is a strategic stakeholder in building a clime that is safe, environment friendly for everybody to dwell in and for business to thrive.
“That is why we are not just sitting idle watching and do nothing. This time around the media, we are rising to the ocasion to at least congregate Nigerians.
“Let us come together to discuss this very important issue that is facing all of us, the issue of security and by the time we are done, whatever resolution, whatever is the communique that will come up from this we will also pass same to government whose responsibility it is to ensure that there is safety, there is peace, there is tranquility.”

Continue Reading

Media

Stallion Times tasks journalists on Human Rights Advocacy, GVB Reportage

Published

on

By

Participants at the training
Share this story

By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Stallion Times Media group on Saturday urged practising Journalists in Kogi state to go beyond Sensitization to Human Rights Advocacy, Inclusivity in Governance and Gender Based Violence (GVB) Reportage.

Isiyaku Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Stallion Times Media made the call in Lokoja at a “One-day Media Training on Human Rights and Social Inclusion” for 30 practising journalists in Kogi State under the aegis of its Get Involved, Dialogue and Improve Project (GDRIP).

The training was organized by Stallion Times in the CMedia Project (Collaborating for media Independence and Government Accountability) with support from the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism, funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

Isiyaku said that the objectives of the training include appreciation of conditions for Gender Equity and Social Inclusion in society and Development; Advocacy for Human Rights and Social Inclusion Through News Coverage and Promotion Of Human Rights and Social Inclusion in Kogi State.

He observed that journalists had published enough Sensitization reports on issues of human rights, gender inequality as well as Inclusivity in Governance and should now embark on advocacy and dialogue to enhance participatory governance.

The CEO called for in-depth investigative Reportage on neglected, underprivileged and abandoned communities without government presence and draw the attention of duty bearers to such communities without roads, electricity, water and schools.

Isiyaku revealed plans by Stallion Times under the GDRIP, to evolve a Dialogue Mechanism involving traditional rulers, Community Leaders, Civil Society Organizations, Government Officials and the Media to address issues of development in such communities.

In his presentation on “Gender Equity in Nigeria, Issues, Challenges and Prospects”, Dr Theophilus Abbah, veteran journalist and Programme Director, Daily Trust Foundation said the training was to build capacities of journalists to promote gender parity and report unreported stories of Gender Based Violence.

Abbah said that as long as an issue remains unreported by the Media, it would remain unattended by relevant authorities adding that journalists should continue to awaken the consciousness of the society to mainstreaming gender.

He drew the attention of the pen pushers to the National Gender Policy and its objectives which include gender parity at all levels (sectional and national) with impact on issues of female representation and participation in governance.

Abbah, an award-winning investigative journalist said that Article 2 and 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights state clearly that in all facets of life, the male and female gender are equal and encouraged journalists to report factors militating against gender parity in Political, Social, Cultural and Religious spheres.

In his goodwill message at the workshop, Ismail Isah, Special Adviser on Media to Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo solicited co-operation of the Journalists and urged the Media to help set agenda for the state.

Isah said that Governor Ododo’s administration in the state would create a formidable rapport with the Media and all practising journalists in the state and called for reports that would unite and move the state forward rather than promoting centrifugal opinions.

Mrs Stella Edoka, Kogi Chairperson of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) in her as good will message, urged Media outfits to reinvigorate their gender desks by churning out more gender stories that engender Inclusivity and participation especially of the womenfolk. (Ends)

Continue Reading

Trending