65 girls raped in 11 months, activists demand justice

ecf rape.fw
ecf rape.fw

No fewer than 65 pupils were reportedly raped by their teachers across the country between January and November 2022.

The victims’ ages range from two to 16 years.

This is according to an analysis of media reports carried out by our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday.

reports that despite that the law recommends life imprisonment for the offence, cases of rape have persisted.

Our correspondent reported that on January 6, 2022, the Jigawa State Police Command disclosed that a 38-year-old teacher was arrested for the alleged rape and abduction of a pupil in Dutse, the state capital.

On January 12, 2022, an Osun State Magistrate’s Court was told how a teacher at L.A Secondary School, Ipetumodu, Ife North Local Government Area of the state raped a 13-year-old pupil.

Similarly, an Ogba Magistrate’s Court in Lagos ordered the remand of a 27-year-old primary school teacher who raped his eight-year-old pupil in the school toilet on March 10, 2022.

Similarly, a 12-year-old who was raped by a teacher in Unguwan Fantaro in Kaduna State was also reported to be pregnant in April 2022.

Similarly, in April 2022, the International Federation of Women Lawyers noted that over 50 cases of teachers defiling pupils were reported in Rivers State between January and April 2022.

The chairperson of the association in the state, Adata Bio-Briggs, described the situation as disheartening.

She also cited a case of a seven-year-old who was raped by her teacher in a school in Ahoada, Rivers state.

Other cases include the case of a 16-year-old who was raped by a teacher in a Lagos school. The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency disclosed this on June 5, 2022.

In July 2022, the Oyo State Police Command arrested a teacher at the Federal Government Girls College, over the rape of a 14-year-old pupil.

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Other cases included the rape of a seven-year-old pupil by a teacher in a school in Bauchi State; and the rape of a 13-year-old pupil by a 45-year-old primary school teacher in Niger State.

The Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, in a report titled ‘Nigeria: A harrowing journey; access to justice for women and girls survivors of rape,’ regretted that many victims of rape are denied justice.

Ojigho added that hundreds of cases of rape are underreported due to corruption, stigma and victim blaming in the country.

“Concrete actions have not been taken to tackle the rape crisis in Nigeria with the seriousness it deserves. The system continues to fail children by making it increasingly difficult for survivors to get justice while allowing perpetrators to get away with gross human rights violations,” she said.

A gender activist, Oluwabunmi Dara, in an interview with The PUNCH said, “Over the years, there have been increases in the trend of sexual abuse in primary and secondary schools in the country. This only shows that our girls are not safe anywhere.

“The school is supposed to be a place where values are taught and parents can comfortably leave their children to the hands of caregivers (teachers). However, the reverse is the case. It is even more unfortunate that despite the VAPP Act and other recommended punishments for this kind of act, the perpetrators continue. We need stiffer punishments.”

The Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, has yet to reply to inquiries by our correspondent as of the time of filing this report on Monday as messages sent to his telephone line remained unanswered.

Our correspondent had sought to know the steps being taken by the police to ensure diligent prosecution of rape suspects across the country.

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