Some aggrieved members of civil society organisations, mothers and activists on Wednesday staged a protest at the National Assembly, Abuja to seek justice for Keren-Happuch Aondodoo, a 14-year-old boarding student of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja and 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni of Dowen College, Lagos.

 

The protesters under the aegis of the Coalition of Gender-Based Responders (CGBR) asked President Muhammadu Buhari and relevant authorities to order the immediate closure of Premiere Academy, Lugbe in Abuja over the rape and death of Keren after a condom was left inside her uterus.

The protesters, clad in black customised T-shirts displayed placards with inscriptions saying #Justice4Keren. The protesters said they would stop at nothing to ensure that the perpetrator was brought to justice.

 

The leader of the group, Lemmy Ughegbe called on the President to swing into action and close down Premiere Academy in the interest of justice for the victim.

 

He condemned the conspiracy of silence by the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Musa Bello, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Pauline Tallen and Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, five months after the incident.

 

Ughegbe said the silence and inaction of the ministers would embolden the rapists. He also accused the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of compromising on its standard, blaming the commission for not inviting him as the petitioner or Keren's mother. 

 

He said representatives of the commission only met with the management of the school without making any effort to meet with the victim's family. 

 

The protesters who converged at the popular Unity Fountain later moved to the National Assembly to prevail on the lawmakers to order an investigation into the matter. 

 

Ughegbe said, "We are crying about Keren-Happuch and not just for her, we are still crying for Sylvester that happened in Lagos but the difference between Lagos and Abuja is that Lagos Governor immediately responded to the exigency of time by ordering the closure of the school temporarily until the investigation is done and other actions are taken.

 

"In the FCT when Keren who was allegedly raped in the school, condom left inside her and the condom infected her with sepsis which spiked her blood sugar."

 

He explained that instead of the school to admit guilt, it decided to engage in media propaganda to change the narrative by claiming that Keren was not raped but died of diabetes.

 

He noted that the FCT Deputy Commissioner of Police, Fom Pam Joseph granted a television interview where he admitted and confirmed that Keren was raped.

 

"The school can do the propaganda because the police who is in charge of the case enables them to do so. This is Keren's mother and until tomorrow the police has held on to the autopsy report and denied Keren's mother the autopsy report.

 

"Some of us are investigative journalists in the coalition, we took steps and we got the medical report which says condom was found inside her which gave her sepsis," he said.

 

Meanwhile, the angry protesters were received by the Speaker who was represented by Hon. Mark Gbilah, a member of the House of Representatives representing Gwer East and Gwer West Federal Constituency of Benue State. He assured them that the matter would be followed up to its logical conclusion.

 

He said, "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 the 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 school authority will be invited.

 

"It is a shame that our children can no longer be safe and this is totally unacceptable."

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