A Nigerian lady, Hirhyel Hassan, has instituted legal action against one of her father's friends, who allegedly defiled her while she was a child.
In court documents obtained by SaharaReporters, the young woman, who is currently a serving corps member, alleged that she was molested within the period of 2007 and 2008 when she was nine years old.
The respondent, Prof David Bwala of the Faculty of Education, University of Maiduguri, was alleged to have paid frequent visits to the applicant's house to sexually exploit, molest and assault her after enticing her with gifts.
In the notice of application, Hassan sought the following reliefs, “A declaration that the sexual exploitation, molestation and assault of the applicant by the respondent towards the applicant, is a violation of the applicant's constitutionally guaranteed right as enshrined under section 34(1) 1999 CFRN (amended), Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Cap 49) Laws of the Federation, 2004 and sections 11, 32 & 277 of the Child Rights Act, 2003.
“A declaration that the applicant is entitled to a public apology and adequate compensation from the respondent for the blatant violation of the applicant's fundamental rights.”
She also sought an order directing the tespondent to tender a public apology and pay adequate compensation to the applicant for the blatant violation of her fundamental rights.
Other reliefs sought are, “An order of perpetual injection restraining the respondent from further exploiting, molesting and assaulting the applicant sexually.
“An order of this honourable court directing the respondent to pay to the applicant the sum of N50,000,000.00 as exemplary damages for the grave violation of the applicant's fundamental rights, which has caused the applicant to suffer emotional and psychological trauma.”
In another court document, the victim said she had kept this to herself for so long and had suffered self-loathing, frequent panic attacks, sleepless nights, and anxiety as a result of being molested by the respondent.
She claimed the development had also affected her socially and academically.
Hassan, who was finally able to open up to her family in 2021, said her father organised a meeting with the respondent at the house of one Dr. Mrs. K.S Ndahi where the alleged abuser was confronted with the allegation.
According to her, Prof Bwala admitted to have sexually molested her.
She said the minutes of the meeting were recorded on her cell phone after which she approached the translation section of the High Court of Justice registry on September 2021 where she engaged the services of Yakubu Saleh, a principal registrar at the court, which was translated from Bura, Hausa to English Language.
The translation was thereafter made available in printed copy.
However, in a counter affidavit by Prof Bwala, he said none of the accusations levelled against him were true.
According to him, the applicant's father was his friend and a firm relationship had been established with the family.
He said anytime he paid a visit to the family at the time of the alleged occurrence, he was usually in company with his wife, who hands over gifts to the children.
Bwala also said he at no time admitted to have assaulted the young woman, stating that though there was a meeting at the residence of Dr Mrs Ndahi, he was shocked at the allegations levelled against him as none of such incidents happened.