Tempers flare over alleged sexual assault at Abuja schools for the blind and deaf
The reported sexual assault on some students at the FCT School for the Blind and the Kuje School for the Deaf has drawn the anger of the authorities and parents in the nation’s capital.
The news broke out like a wild harmattan fire, leaving many Abuja residents wondering how supposed care givers could have turned into predators devouring their flock.
But the students now seem more in danger as the teachers in whose care they were put have been accused of turning against them for selfish reasons.
At the FCT School for the Blind, two teachers were accused of having carnal knowledge of some of their female students whose names will not be published.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration promptly swung into action, paying an unscheduled visit to the school for an on the spot assessment of the situation at hand.
In their testimonies, the female students whose identities were concealed, accused the two male teachers, Messrs. Ilo Chukwuma, also said to be visually impaired, and Ebenezer Olateju of repeatedly fondling them in sensitive parts of their bodies and forcefully having sex with them at will.
Already, the FCT authorities have ejected one of the teachers living in the school compound and placed both men on suspension while a probe has been instituted into the allegations.
A National Violence Against Children Survey in 2014 by the federal government established that one in every four girls and one in ten boys experience sexual violence before the age of 18.
In June, 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics disclosed that 2,279 cases of rape and sexual assault were reported in 2017.
Between 2018 and May 2019, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, received reports of 77 rape cases and 208 cases of chid abuse.
Despite increase in cases of abuse and rape in Nigeria, experts worry that convictions are rare.
For instance, only three convictions have been secured by NAPTIP so far, while 12 cases are pending in courts.
In Abuja, the nation’s seat of power, the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, VAPPA, subsists. It was enacted in 2015 to protect citizens, irrespective of gender, from violence
Nigeria’s National Assembly is now proposing the death sentence for perpetrators of rape
Authorities of the School for the Blind confirm there is an ongoing investigation into allegations of rape against the two teachers which has been submitted but they are still keeping the details close to their chest.