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Rape, death of Keren: family files N10b suit against Premier Academy

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**Demands CCTV footages of 16th and 17th of June 2021

Grieving Mrs Vivien Vihimga Akpagher has dragged Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja and its owners, including former Managing Director of Skye Bank, Mr. Akinsola Akifemiwa before an Abuja High Court, demanding for over ten billion naira.

This is coming against the backdrop that the School allegedly neglected and failed to care for her daughter who was 14 year old boarding student Miss Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher that died after being allegedly raped.

Keren-Happuch died on the 22nd of June 2021 after developing sepsis as a result of the infection caused by the condom left inside her by her rapist, which compromised her immunity, spiked her blood sugar resulting to hyperglycaemia.

Speaking at a press conference organised in Abuja, Mrs Akpagher said she brought the suit against Premiere Academy Ltd, Dr. Omotayo Akinfemiwa, Chief M.K Osuma, AAGMR Ltd (represented by Akinsola Akinfemiwa), Premiere Eye Center Ltd ( represented by Akinsola Akinfemiwa), Mr. Christopher Akinsowon, Mrs Grace Salami and Nurse Lois Bung as 1st to 8th Defendants.

She said all she expects is a school that is apologetic and takes responsibility for the rape and death of her child, stating that if they were honourable enough to do so, she would drop the matter.

“But the way they are going, if they are not ready to take responsibility, we shall see this case to the end, so that it doesn’t happen to another child, she stated.

In the instant suit, she has also prayed the court for “an order restraining the defendants by themselves, their agents and privies from threatening the Plaintiff and her allies in respect of this suit, during and after the trial.”

The Plaintiff is praying the court for the following reliefs:

· A declaration that the negligence of the Defendants caused the Plaintiff’s daughter’s Keren –Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher death on the 22nd day of June 2021.

· A declaration that the acts of the defendants, who owed the Duty of Care to Plaintiff’s daughter, were negligent and this led to her death as a result of rape, sexual abuse and molestation which happened under their care.

· A declaration that the acts of the defendants who instructed the 8th defendant to administer dexamethasone (a steroid) on Keren –Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher exacerbated her underlining illness: “diabetes” and this led to her death.

· A declaration that the defendants’ failure to apprehend the perpetrator or allow the due process of the law to be carried out on time in other to fish out the perpetrator who is within their vicinity have intentionally inflicted the plaintiff with emotional distress, mental distress and nervous breakdown.

She therefore prays the court to award to her:

· The sum of Ten Billion Naira damages against the defendants for the breach of duty of care and negligence which led to the death of Keren –Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher.

· Ten Million Naira for emotional, mental, psychological and physical stress on the plaintiff, caused by the painful death of her daughter at the hands of the defendants who owed her duty of care.

Ten million naira representing cost of Litigation.

In support of the reliefs sought by the plaintiff are a -61 paragraph statement of claims, wherein Mrs Akpagher painted a graphic picture of how she got a tip off from Keren’s House mother, Mrs. Rita Abejide to resist attempts by the matron not to allow her take her daughter away from the school, disclosing that the child was distraught and unable to walk on the 16th of June 2021 as she was in pain and had to be assisted to go to class.

She said despite her demand that the police retrieve CCTV footages of 15th and 16th of June 2021, which she knows discloses how her daughter was sexually abused and the identity of her abuser, the defendants have chosen to obstruct justice by concealing the said footages.

She explained how Keren eventually became critically ill the following day after returning home and she was rushed to the hospital on Monday, 21st of June 2021 in a bad state and that was when it was discovered by the medical team at Queen’s Clinic that her daughter had been sexually abused.

The plaintiff will rely on the test results, and the hospital reports and records of Queens Clinic, Wuse Abuja, which prove that condom was left inside of her late daughter and her urine contained dead spermatozoa.

The plaintiff states that “following the test results, she called the school management that is the 6th and 7th defendants at about 1pm on the 21/06/21 to come to the hospital, but never disclosed the findings. But before the management came, the plaintiff called a teacher in the 1st defendant, Mr. Chukwuka Okafor, whom she had never told what the hospital revealed and during their discussion, he prayed her daughter gets better and come back to school to which the plaintiff said she won’t be coming back and he said “don’t worry madam we will get to the bottom of it so that it does not happen to another child.”

The plaintiff states that her daughter died early hours of Tuesday 22/6/2021 from hyperglycemia triggered by sepsis resulting from the infection caused by the condom, which was left inside her and aided by the dexamethasone that was administered to her in the school clinic by her nurse Lois Bung which compromised her immunity. The plaintiff will rely on all the medical documents given to her by Queens Clinic Abuja in the course of trial.

The plaintiff states Lois Bung wrote a statement at the police stating that she had given Keren-Happuch 5 tablets of Dexamethasone (steroid) and 1 tablet of Loratadine (anti-allergy). These drugs given to her were not part of her routine drugs, and the defendants were negligent in not seeking her consent before administering such drugs to her daughter and never also deemed it fit to inform her that such drugs was administered to enable her take precaution and also inform the family doctor.

We give the the FCT Police Command Gender Department incharge of this matter the notice to produce the Statement of Lois Bung admitting that she administered the said drug to Keren-Happuch Akpagher.

The plaintiff states that the defendants ordered that dexamethasone be given to her daughter for sinister reasons because her daughter complaining of redness of the eye didn’t warrant such strong steroids like dexamethasone. The defendants knew that such medication would increase her daughter’s blood sugar levels and weaken her immunity which could lead to hyperglycemia. The defendants never gave her the medical records of her daughter even till date.

The plaintiff states that the condom and dead spermatozoa found in her daughter has no other indication except, rape, sexual molestation and sexual abuse of her daughter. This in combination with the high sugar and sepsis which led to her daughter’s death.

The plaintiff states that the failure of the defendants to seek consent from her who knows her daughter very well points to lack of respect and understanding of the child’s rights and of her’s as her mother.

The plaintiff states that she also handed over a transcription as well as a voice recording of her conversation with the Matron, Mrs. Grace Salami and the Head of Pastoral, Mr. Olusegun Adesanmi when they visited in the hospital on the 21st June, 2021.

The plaintiff states that the Command has not at any time intimated them of the progress of the investigation. The FCT Police command denied them of copies of the medical and autopsy reports but has released same to the school which they stated in some of their interviews in some newspapers including Eagleonline Publication of 13/09/21 and Punch Newspapers of 14/09/21. The plaintiff will rely on the said publication in the course of trial.

The plaintiff states that the acting principal of the school the 6th defendant stated in Thisday Newspaper of 9th of August 2021 that “if we had known there was a condom inside her, we would have removed it.” The plaintiff showed this piece of publication to the police, but they failed to act on it.

The plaintiff states that the FCT Command called her to the station to ask if the report they got from the school that my son told his friend who told his father I wasn’t taking good care of them was true. The police at the FCT Command also summoned the plaintiff to tell her that the school had asked them to get her daughter’s jotter, phone and bible from her because they think she might have written something in it – which she refused to submit.

The plaintiff states that because of the circumstances ad clinical evidences surrounding her daughter’s death she is convinced that all the defendants were aware, connived , concealed, aided in putting her daughter in the hands of men who sexually molest children on the premises of the 1st defendant.

The plaintiff states that her daughter has been in the 1st Defendant’s (the school) for over 3 years and has religiously been taking her injections without any problem. She has never been admitted in the hospital for one day and it is obvious its because of what the clinical test revealed and found in her as a result of sexual abuse and rape which happened under the supervision and care of the Defendants that led to her death.

The plaintiff states that the dead spermatozoa found in her daughter’s urine and the foreign body which she believes to be condom was inside her daughter prior to the 19th day of June 2021 when she picked her up from school. The plaintiff concludes that her daughter was going through trauma before and after she picked her up from the school on the 19th day of June 2021.

The plaintiff states that the dead spermatozoa belongs to a male who lives and/or works in the premises of the 1st to the 6th defendants. The dead spermatozoa means that her daufghter was raped and sexually abused prior to her coming home on the 19th of June 2021. The plaintiff will prove this in the course of trial through the witness of expert medical doctors.

The plaintiff states that at her sober moment she recalls the events that transpired within the four days her daughter fell sick that led to her death, why her daughter cried and begged to be taken home, was extremely sad the day the matron refused her leaving with her, and now understand why the school authorities prevented her from accessing her daughter earlier than when she finally did was all to cover up the trauma her daughter was going through in the hands of her abusers and molesters in the 1st defendant premises.

The plaintiff states that she has raised alarm on all quarters concerning the grave danger children are going through at the 1st defendant and some Civil Society Organisations have joined her to call for thorough investigation into the activities of the school that led to her daughter’s death.

The plaintiff states that within the past months after her daughter’s death some parents and students reached out to her confessing that some of their children were also sexually molested, abused and sodomized by male teachers of the 1st defendant. We will rely on the voice notes of one of the former student of Premiere Academy testifying to how she was sexually abused as a 13-year-old in the school and declaring that there were a number of men who molest children in the school. This voice note was given to the police, but they failed to act on it.

The plaintiff states that a letter of indefinite suspension issued to a former PHE teacher Mr. Onitilo K.K for sexually molesting a student who was never handed over to the police but released into the society by the defendants will be relied on in the course of trial.

The Plaintiff states that the defendants owed her daughter the duty of care and protection of which they failed woefully which eventually caused the death of her daughter. The defendants were negligent and breached that duty by failing to meet with their obligations, which has put her daughter in harm’s way.

The plaintiff states that her daughter was only 14 years old, a child, a minor whose care and protection was solely the responsibilities of the defendants because she was in the boarding facilities of the Defendants where she was raped, molested on several occasions which led to her death.

The plaintiff states that the person who molested, abused, raped and killed her daughter is well known to the defendants but they have decided to shield the person for reasons best known to them and for reasons they are all benefiting from.

The plaintiff states that she has asked the police to request from the defendants the CCTV footages of 15th and 16th June 2021 because she knows the said footages will reveal the identity of those who raped her daughter. The defendants have a huge secret to hide and that is why they refused to release the said footages.

The plaintiff states that the 7th defendant admitted that her daughter never came for her tests/injections on the 16th day of June 2021, the same day she was reported as not being able to walk to school without assistance for her test.

The plaintiff states that if the defendants were not benefitting from it they have no reason not to fish out the perpetrator and punish accordingly. They have obstructed investigation, connived with the law enforcement authorities to cover up the case.

The plaintiffs states that the defendants are using the police to harass and intimidate her and the civil society coalition spokes person Lemmy Ugegbe who has been on the front burner of this tragedy to make the police and the defendants to do the right thing by taking responsibility and bringing the pepertrators to book.

The plaintiff states that the school has written a petition against Mr. Lemmy Ughegbe and herself to the Inspector- General of Police citing Defamation and Provocation of Premiere Academy the defendants. They have been invited by the police on several occasions to intimidate them from putting media pressure to make the defendants to do the right thing. On the 16th day of February 2022, the police invitated Mr. Lemmy Ughebe again on the account of the defendants in other to shut him up , pressing thrumped up charges against him and the whole idea is to let backdown in supporting justice of this case.

The plaintiff states that she has written to the National Assembly for justie to be done and Hon. Mark Gbillah raised a motion (on Keren’s death) which was passed on the floor of the house on 7/12/21. The house has also resolved to constitute a panel that will address the issue via a public hearing when they resume in 2022. They have also directed that the IG should direct a DNA profiling of all the male staff that had worked in the school around the time of the incidence to match against the DNA that would be established from the foreign body taken out of her daughter.

The plaintiff states that they are afraid that they will continue to be intimidated even after this case as the defendants are influential and can use the police in their favour.

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EFCC to arraign Bello on Thursday over alleged N80.2b money laundering

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has indicated it will on Thursday, April 18, 2024 arraign a former governor of Kogi State,  Yahaya Adoza Bello before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

The antigraft agency said Bello will be arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects,  Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19- count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N80, 246,470, 088.88
The arraignment is being perfected following a warrant of arrest and enrolment order granted the EFCC by the court on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. 

Count one of the charges reads: That you, Yahaya Adoza Bello, Ali Bello, Dauda Suliman, and Abdulsalam Hudu( Still at large), sometime, in February, 2016, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to convert the total sum of N80, 246,470, 088.88 which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity  to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended”.

Count 17 of the charges read: “That you Yahaya Bello between 26th July 2021 to 6th April 2022 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable  Court aided E-Traders International Limited to conceal the aggregate sum of  N3081,804,654.00( Three Billion, Eighty One Million Eight Hundred and Four Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty Four Naira) in account number 1451458080 domiciled in Access BankPlc, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a), 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15( 3) of the same Act.

Count 18  of the charges reads: “That you Yahaya Adoza Bello  sometime in November 2021 in Abuja within the jurisdiction  of this Honourable Court  indirectly procured E-Traders international Limited to transfer  the aggregate sum of $570,330.00( Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand , Three Hundred and Thirty Dollars) to account number 4266644272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15( 3) of the same Act”.

“The Commission’s attempt to execute the Warrant of Arrest lawfully obtained against Bello met stiff resistance  on Wednesday,  April 17,  2024.  The security cordon around the former governor’s residence in Abuja was breached by the current Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo who  ensured that the suspect was spirited away in his official vehicle.  
“As a responsible law enforcement agency,  the EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation, waiting for his arraignment on Thursday, April 18,  2024.

“It is needful to state that Bello is not above the law and would be brought to justice as soon as possible.”

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Court bars Ganduje from parading himself as member of APC

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Yhe Kano State High Court has granted an ex parte order restraining the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, from parading himself as a member of the party.

The court ordered that Ganduje must refrain from presiding over all affairs of the National Working Committee of the APC.

The application waa said to have been granted by Justice Usman Na’abba on Tuesday, following an ex parte motion filed by Dr. Ibrahim Sa’ad on behalf of two executive members of Ganduje’s ward, Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area, the Assistant Secretary, Laminu Sani and Legal Adviser, Haladu Gwanjo (plaintiffs), who were part of the nine ward executives who suspended Ganduje on Monday.

The court directed the four parties (respondents) joined in the matter, including the APC, NWC, APC Kano State Working Committee, and Ganduje, to henceforth, maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15th,2024 pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit on April 30th 2024

Justice Na’abba, also held as prayed, stopped State Working Committee APC Kano from interfering with the legally and validly considered decision of executives of Ganduje ward, essentially on action endorsed by a two-thirds majority of the executives as provided by the party constitution.

The ex parte order read,, “An order is hereby granted directing all parties in the suit APC (first), APC National Working Committee (second), Kano State Working Committee APC (third), Dr. Abdullah Umar Ganduje (fourth), to maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15, 2024.
“The order thereby restraining the first respondent (APC) from recognising the fourth respondent (Ganduje) as a member of APC and prohibiting the fourth respondent (Ganduje) from presiding over any affairs of the NWC and restraining the state Working Committee from interfering with the legally and validly decision of the ward executives of Ganduje ward.

“That the fourth respondent (Ganduje}is prohibited from parading himself as a . member of APC or doing any act that may _ portray him or seem to be a member of APC pending the hearing and determination of the
substantive suit.”

Nine members of the Ganduje ward proclaimed the suspension of the National Chairman of the APC over the allegation of corruption slammed on him by the Kano State Government.

The nine APC executives said they were prompted to act following a petition written by one Ja’afaru Adamu, a member of the AP from the National chairman’s polling unit.

in the petition, Adamu complained over allegations of corruption charges against the
former governor just as he urged the ward leaders to investigate the matter to redeem the dented image of the party and the implication on President Bola Tinubu’s fight against corruption.

Although the chairman and secretary of the ward failed to act on the petition filed en April 8, 2024, nine members of the executives, led by the legal adviser, acted upon the petition, a decision that led to Ganduje’s suspension.

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Mambilla Update: Agunloye heads to Appel Court over ruling fundamental rights

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Justice Obiora Egwuatu at the Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a Suit filed by Agunloye in June 2023 to restrain EFCC from harassing him and breaching his fundamental rights because of the ongoing International Arbitration on Mambilla Power Project

The points made by Agunloye in the Civil Suit which had dragged for over nine months had become irrelevant or expired in reality because the EFCC, the Respondent, had, while the case was in progress, declared Agunloye wanted, detained him, maltreated him in detention.
The antigraft agency also arraigned him before another court and remanded him in prison until the court granted him bail.

The court under Justice Egwuatu, however, did not consider the merits of the case largely on the ground that EFCC has the power to carry out its statutory duties and can not be stopped by the Court. On this basis, Justice Egwuatu dismissed the suit and awarded costs.

Agunloye’s lawyers have expressed preparedness in respect of the appeal considering that the court admitted basing its ruling on the suit being “an attempt to use the instrumentality of the Court to shield the Applicant from criminal investigation and to interfere with the statutory authority of the Respondent to investigate crimes or allegations of same in line with the EFCC Act.”

It is believed that the duties of EFCC must be performed in accordance with the law, and the court has the powers to stop any infraction by the EFCC in the course of performance of its duties. Such does not amount to interference with the statutory duties of EFCC but a legal checkmate of its powers to deter likely abuse.

With the Agunloye heading to
appeal against the Judgement, the case is far from being over, and the Court of Appeal will take the opportunity to look at the case extensively.

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