Rivers State Government and the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), have debunked reported cases of teachers sexually abusing 50 pupils and students in the State.
State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, made the denial yesterday, when he briefed journalists in Port Harcourt, saying that the report was fake news with malicious intent.
Prof. Ebeku, expressed displeasure that the report quoted FIDA out of context.
He urged journalists to always reach out to the ministry for clarifications before going to the press, warning that the ministry will not relent in taking disciplinary measures against any teacher for unwarranted behaviour.
Ebeku said: “FIDA was quoted out of context. Most of the incidents as you heard were from caregivers who abused the kids instead of caring for them.
“It’s not true that we have 50 cases of rape or molestation in Rivers schools. We shouldn’t play politics with everything, because it doesn’t help us. Facts are sacred, we must stop fake news
“We are serious of discipline in Rivers schools. If you have any information of unwarranted behaviour about schools, please reach out to us at the ministry and we will take the necessary action.”
The report, which was credited to FIDA, quoted the chairperson of the group in Rivers State, Adata Bio-Briggs, as saying that between January and April, 2022, over 50 cases of teachers defiling their students had been reported and charged to court.
The report said some of the recent cases were recorded in Ahoada, Elelenwo and Rumuokuta areas of the state, adding that she commended the police for promptly prosecuting many of the cases, describing the incidents as disheartening.
In reaction, FIDA chairperson, yesterday, clarified that only five out of the 50 defilement cases were carried out by teachers, as 45 others were by caregivers including pastors, neighbours, parents and others.
She said: “Yes, we have 50 incidents of defilement and sexual abuse of children ongoing in court. This defilment was done by care givers such as pastors, neighbours, lesson teachers, uncle, father, teachers etc. We only have five cases involving teachers in Rivers State.”