Keren: Hold Premiere Academy accountable for our whereabouts, safety – Mother of rape victim, activist cry out



…I will report at State CID tomorrow, says activist

Mother of Keren-Happuch Aondoodo Akpagher, the-14 year old boarding student of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja, who died as a result of heath complication caused after being raped, Mrs Vivien Vihimga Akpagher and leader of the Coalition of Gender Based Violence Responders, Lemmy Ughegbe have raised alarm over harassment by Premiere Academy, Lugbe owing to their outcry that the rapist be fished out and brought to justice.

The duo said the desperation shown by the school was of comcern to them as they now fear for their lives and those of their family members.

They have therefore asked the Nigerian people to hold Premiere Academy accountable for their where-abouts and safety even as they pleaded with the Inspector General of Police to provide protection for them and their families.

Following Keren-Happuch’s death on June 22, 2021 as a result of a condom left inside her by a rapist, infecting her with sepsis, which triggered her blood sugar, compromised her immunity and led to her tragic end, her mother had filed a formal complaint at the FCT Police Command against Premiere Academy, where her daughter was allegedly raped.

On his own part, Ughegbe, as a child and gender rights advocate, who has been leading a coalition in the past six months to call the police to account and ensure that investigation is not compromised, said he will honour an invitation from the State C.I.D tomorrow and urged the police not to allow the school to use them to subvert justice and derail efforts to nab the culprit.

Upset by the roles being played by Mrs Akpagher and Ughegbe, Premiere Academy has asked the police to summon the duo for allegedly defaming the school.

Reacting to the petition entitled “Defamation and Provocation of Premiere Academy by Mr. Lemmy Ughegbe and Mrs. Vivien Akpagher” filed against them by the law firm of Asiwaju Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) on behalf of the school; Keren’s mother said she was not surprise at the antics of the school.

“I am not shocked at all by Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja because I have, in the past six months, come to understand their antics. Their methodology is clearer to me now than ever before and they have made me understand why my daughter was so scared and traumatised to talk to me. If, as grown and far away from them as I am, they are bullying me and using the police to bully us, then I can imagine how brutally my daughter was bullied and traumatised into silence”, Mrs. Akpagher said.

“I have a right to demand justice for my daughter and the fact that Premiere Academy is afraid of my demand speaks to any reasonable person about their motive and reason for being against me”, she added.

In his own reaction, Ughegbe noted that “Premiere Academy is acting as though justice for Keren would be against its interest. How can demanding justice for a rape victim and family amount to defamation? Today as we continue to seek justice six months after, they are accusing us of defamation and have even sued me over it. So, why are they resorting to the police again? They are desperate and embarking on a fruitless voyage that will lead nowhere.”

“Last Wednesday, I received a call from someone who introduced himself as Inspector Yakubu Andrew, who said he is calling from the Monitoring Unit of the State CID and has a petition on defamation against me from Mr. Chris Akinsonwon (former acting Principal of Premiere Academy). We have agreed that I will honour the invitation with my lawyer tomorrow, Monday, the 17th of January, 2022 at 11am. I am using this medium to notify the public that I will be with the State CID tomorrow at the instance of Premiere Academy.

“We know the Nigerian Police has very fine and knowledgeable men and officers. We therefore want to use this medium to appeal to them to be wary of the school and not allow it mislead it with information capable of tarnishing its image and rubbishing the rising good image of the police under the current Inspector General of Police, who has raised the bar in terms of professionalism and integrity of the service”, he urged.

He noted that “there are attempts by the school to bully and intimidate us into silence. They have used propaganda and sponsored phoney write-ups to delude the public as to our quest for justice for Keren. Now, they are hoping to use the police to bully us. But we trust that the police officers are experienced and professional enough not to fall for their antics.”