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Justice for raped girl, 14, who died after condom was left in her

Activists demand investigation of Premiere Academy


Pascal Oparada
Activists are demanding that those who raped Karen Akpagher, the 14-year-old Senior Secondary School (SSI) student of Premiere Academy, who died from infection as a result of a condom left in her by an unknown rapist, be brought to justice.
The school has refused to name the alleged culprits, prompting rights activists led by Network Against Domestic Violence to stage a protest in Abuja to ask the police to expedite action and bring the rapist of Akpagher to book.
The coalition gathered at the Unity Fountain on Friday displaying placards and banners with various inscriptions while dressed in black.
This is despite a letter issued by the Nigeria Police to the leader of the coalition and Convener, Men Against Rape Foundation, Lemmy Ugbhegbe, accusing him of “inciting public disturbance.”
Addressing newsmen, Ugbhegbe stated that his life was under threat and that he had vacated his house after it was visited by people he failed to mention.
He, however, vowed that the movement seeking justice for the deceased could not be suppressed.
He said, “The letter they sent to me inviting me to the police, they wrote my name very wrongly and they addressed it to Babylove School in Lugbe. I am not addressing you or the police in the capacity of Babylove. All the statements I have issued on behalf of the coalition were at the instance of Men Against Rape Foundation.
“The fact that they have gone to my house… and as I talk to you hoodlums are all around the environment now. I feel unsafe and if anything happens to me or any member of my family, please hold the Deputy Commissioner of Police, FCT, Mr. Fom Pam Joseph responsible. This movement cannot be quenched, we must seek justice for Keren and that is our determination.
“All we are interested in is that the school be thoroughly investigated, not just for crime against Karen but also there are a series of crimes that have occurred.”
The group had alleged that the police bungled an autopsy report on Akpagher, prompting them to ask for a rescheduled report.
The mother of the deceased, Mrs Vihimga had told newsmen that she received a frantic call from her daughter a few days before her death, asking her to come and withdraw her from the school because she was not feeling well.
She said although the school was unwilling to release the pupil and even argued that there was no need to worry, her daughter remained adamant and even cried that she wanted to go home.
Vihimga stated, “When I called the principal, he said my daughter would need to be isolated for five days (upon her return). I felt that I should go home since the school said it could take care of her. On my way home, my daughter called again using the school’s phone and asked where I was. I told her that I came, but turned back and she started crying.
“So, I got angry and asked her why she was stressing me since she would be returning home soon for the holiday. So, she asked to speak to her uncle. She said, ‘You people don’t know why I am asking you to come and pick me and you are leaving.’”
The distraught mother stated that while she was still contemplating whether to return to the school, the housemother informed her that Karen-Happuch could hardly walk the day before and had been crying. The housemother advised that the young girl be taken to a hospital for proper check-up.
She added that she picked up her daughter, but when Karen-Happuch was brought home, she was not her usual self and she seemed withdrawn.
The mother narrated, “When we got home, she wasn’t her usual happy self. She switched off all the lights. She could not even look at us in the face. She slept throughout that day and ate some food.
“But by the morning of Monday, June 21, 2021, I noticed that her condition had deteriorated and took her to hospital, and while examining her, the doctor saw a discharge, ran a test and discovered that it was a condom that was left in her. They tested her urine and it contained sperm; and like that, infection and sepsis led to her death.”
When asked if her daughter revealed the identity of the person who defiled her, the bereaved mother responded, “I picked her up on June 19 and she died on June 21. She slipped into a coma and died. She was traumatised.”
Vihimga said she challenged Premiere Academy, but the institution only promised to look into the matter.