…as proprietress allegedly begins moves to resume operation

Juliana Francis

Mrs Jennifer, whose three-year-old toddler was alleged to have been sexually violated by a female teacher in Tender Link School in Trans-Ekulu, Enugu State, has urged the state government, human rights activists and child rights advocates to step out and fight for her daughter.

According to the distraught mother, the matter was taken to court on Friday, and only the alleged perpetrator, Favour Okoro was brought to court and is now remanded in prison custody.

She said that the admin officer, bus driver and school bus attendant, were left in police custody.

Jennifer opined that these Tender Link staff, who were all arrested and detained in the course of the investigation, should have been brought to the court to bear witness to how the female teacher penetrated her little girl’s private with her finger, causing blood to be gushing out from her private part.

The distraught mother was also fretting over the rumour she heard that the proprietress of Tender Link School, Ngozi, was already making moves to get her school reopened.

She expressed disgust with the attitude of Ngozi, whom she said had never bothered to visit them to check on how her abused toddler was faring.

Jennifer fumed: “The proprietress is only after her school reopening.”

Jennifer narrated: “ It was on Friday that we went to court. I was called on Thursday night and informed that I should come with my daughter to the High Court. They said I should be there by 8:am

“ I prepared and went to the court with my daughter, along with my elder sister. There were about five lawyers that came on behalf of Tender Link school.  We didn’t have a lawyer, but a police lawyer.

“It was only the female teacher that violated my daughter that was brought to the court. They didn’t bring the school admin to the court, didn’t bring the school bus driver and the school bus attendant. They are supposed to be witnesses and I had expected that they would be brought to the court along with the female teacher who inserted fingers into my baby’s private part.

“After the case, after everything, she was remanded to prison custody. The magistrate said that our next case would be on the 13th of December 2023 and that the female teacher would be coming from prison to court.

“The owner of the Tender Link School was running around planning and asking them to come and open her school, that since the female teacher had been taken to prison, they should come and open her school. She is running around, making moves to reopen the school.

“ She didn’t even show remorse or sympathy or call my baby or come to say sorry for what happened to my baby. She was just blabbing, saying that her school needed to be reopened, that they should come and open it.

“I also got information that the other staff in police custody are going to be given bail, but they are witnesses to everything that happened on that day. The school has four buses,  but the school admin instructed that my daughter should be left in school until 6:PM, a child that closed by 2:PM. The school admin said that one of the school buses was bad. I just don’t understand it.”

It will be recalled that Jennifer’s daughter returned late from school after she had called repeatedly, asking why her daughter was taking so long to be brought home by the school bus. She was told the school bus developed a fault.

The child had told her mom some moments after she came home that she wanted to urinate. As soon as she stooped to urinate, blood started gushing out of her private, causing her distraught mother to scream in panic.

The child would later identify and mention a female teacher, Okoro as the perpetrator.

A Child Rights Advocate organization, Ambassadors for Peace and Enlightenment Foundation, which is also under the network of the Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network (ACVPN), has stepped into the matter, demanding justice for the toddler.

Our reporter gathered that the teacher was taken to the police station, where she allegedly admitted to the act, asking for forgiveness. It was also discovered that the three-year-old victim was not the first victim of the teacher.

It was further gathered that a politician, simply mentioned as honourable, who is close to the perpetrator’s family, allegedly stormed Abakpa Police Station, where the case was lodged, threatening and accusing the  Divisional Police Officer (DPO) making the teacher admitted to the crime under duress.

When our reporter called the school proprietress, identified as Ngozi, someone picked up her call, explaining that the Enugu State Commissioner of Police was interviewing the woman.

The Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Command, Kanayo Uzuegbu,  has ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (State CID) Enugu, to thoroughly investigate the case and ensure that the prosecution of everyone involved in the sexual molestation of the three-year-old female pupil.

The Enugu State Police spokesman, Daniel Ndukwe, said: “A preliminary investigation proves that the child (names withheld) was found to have been sexually molested, with physical injuries and patches of blood observed on her private part, after the school’s bus dropped her at home on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.

“This is in addition to the receipt of similar complaints by parents of other children at the school. Three suspects, comprising the victim’s female teacher, the school’s bus attendant and driver, have been arrested for interrogation.

“The Commissioner describes the act as unthinkable and wonders why the school’s authority and teachers will allow such to happen to the toddler they are supposed to tutor and protect from such an ungodly act.

“He appreciated the Enugu State Government’s decision to shut down the school pending the conclusion of the investigation while vowing to ensure that everyone found guilty faces the full wrath of the law.”



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