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Chrisland: Police begin probe as school, parent disagree over alleged rape

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Chrisland School

Chrisland Schools, Lagos State, has denied allegations that a 10-year-old primary six pupil was raped during the school’s participation in the World School Games at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The female pupil was among 76 pupils that represented the school at the event, which was held between March 8 and 14, 2022.

A statement by a Member, Advisory Board, Chrisland Schools, Akin Fadeyi, titled, ‘Chrisland Children Remain Our Centre of Focus,’ said 71 of the pupils ensured untainted adherence to the school’s standards.

“Within these 71, we kept our girls on the 11th floor and boys on the 4th floor to draw clear lines that respect moral boundaries.

“We were, however, compelled to engage with the parents of the remaining students who unfortunately got themselves involved in misconduct, and in accordance with our code of conduct processes, which are well known to the parents, we meted out measured reprimands to them to instil a sense of discipline and as deterrence to others.

“We are proud to reassure our stakeholders that no rape of anyone or the administration of a pregnancy test on any child took place on our watch. For emphasis, only a COVID post-travel test was conducted on the returning delegation of our students, in compliance with COVID-19 travel protocols at the Life Centre Medical Services on March 21, 2022, at School Hall, Opebi.

“This was through the nose swab test as consistent with COVID-19 health protocols. We trust that this can be verified at the source provided,” the statement added.

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The statement came after a video clip of two pupils of the school engaged in what the school described as ‘sexual misconduct’  was shared on Twitter by an unidentified user.

The incident was said to have happened during the school’s trip to  Dubai.

A letter signed by the school’s head teacher, G.I. Azike, to the female student’s parents stated that she was suspended over “sexual misconduct.”

The letter surfaced online late Sunday and was shared by a showbiz personality, Ubi Franklin.

It indicated that the students engaged in a game called ‘Truth or Dare,’ when the act occurred after lights out.

“A full-scale investigation has been done and the parents of all culpable learners have been duly notified with the necessary punishment meted out on the learners.

“We cannot as a school condone such. Consequently, (the female victim) is hereby placed on indefinite suspension until you as the parents ensure that she is punished, adequately counselled and rehabilitated,” the letter read in part.

However, the student’s mother, in an 11-minute video clip released early Monday by Franklin, said the school management, during a meeting, only informed her that her daughter kissed a student.

Franklin later deleted the video.

In the video, the victim’s mother said after the meeting with the management, she did not hear anything from the school until after three weeks when a teacher sent her a Zoom link inviting her for another meeting.

“We had that meeting (involving) board of directors. One particularly said his name is Akin. He led the meeting and began by saying if there is no sin, there won’t be forgiveness and was speaking in parable.

“I had to ask what they were discussing and he said they just wanted to do a follow-up if I had withdrawn my daughter’s phone and to check how she was doing and I said she’s fine.

“But he made a comment that ‘when it happened,’ and I asked what happened, and he asked if she didn’t tell me and I said no she didn’t. So, I started screaming at them to tell me what happened and they said no. 

“So, we finished the meeting. The next day, a parent called me and said she needed to see me urgently. I had to go to her house and she showed me the video and said all the parents are aware,” she added.

She said she immediately called one of the school teachers, who did not take her calls.

The distraught mother said when the teacher eventually picked up, she denied knowledge of the incident.

 The woman said she then decided to discipline her daughter in order to force her to talk.

She said, “As we were beating her, she pleaded to talk to me and said a teacher threatened her not to speak out. She narrated how it happened, how they abandoned them in the hotel, how the school left them and how she got into this thing that is happening now.

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“They have been having meetings, sending delegates from their headquarters to have meetings with my daughter without my consent. Every day, when she is going to school, I will be forcing her to come outside. They took her to do a pregnancy test without us knowing and lied to us that they were taking her for a COVID test.

“Do they use blood samples or urine for COVID test? And I did not know until this thing came up. Because we started confronting them, they sent her a suspension letter. I am begging Nigerians to help me because Chrisland was trying to hide this issue and push us out of the way and my daughter was going psychologically insane.”

In a statement on Monday, the state government said an investigation had commenced into the matter, adding that all Chrisland schools in the state had been shut down.

“In view of the allegations, we are committed to ensuring that adequate medical and psychosocial support is provided. This is to reassure members of the public of the state government’s commitment to safety and child protection, especially in ensuring that all child-centred institutions within the state formulate and implement policies and systems that are compliant with the Executive Order (NO.EO/AAO8 of 2016), Lagos State Safeguarding and Child  Protection Programme.

“We also use this medium to remind the general public of the implications pertaining to engaging in any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child, commits an offence and is liable to a custodial sentence of 14 years. This includes producing, distributing, receiving and possessing an image of child pornography.

“In the meantime, all Chrisland schools within Lagos State are hereby closed, pending further investigations,” the statement said in part.

Reacting, the state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, in a statement released by the command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, also said the command had commenced an investigation into the matter.

“The command has commenced investigations into the matter with a view to establishing the identities of the players in the video, the true incident in the video, the geographical location of the incident, the alleged threat to life against a student of the school and circumstances surrounding the alleged repeated pregnancy tests conducted on a student without parental consent.

“The command is equally taking cognizance of the cybercrime angle to the whole episode and would not hesitate to enlist the support of the Interpol should the need arise. For a holistic and unbiased investigation, the command shall be working with relevant ministries, departments, agencies and non-governmental organisations.”

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, in a statement, said, “The decision of the Lagos State Government to close down the school is commendable.  A thorough and speedy investigation of the immoral act ought to be carried out with a view to sanctioning the teachers who failed to provide effective supervision of the pupils during the trip to the United Arab Emirates.

“In particular, the allegation of the mother that her daughter was subjected to pregnancy tests without parental consent should be referred to the police for investigation and possible prosecution,” he added.

In his reaction to the incident, a senior lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, condemned the parents, school management, government, and Nigerians for sharing the sexually explicit content online.

He said, “Parents have a responsibility in providing moral education for their children because children are susceptible to all sorts of influences by the media, including the broadcast media, radio and films that they watch at home. So, parents have the responsibility to nurture their children before they hand them over to schools.

“As for the school, this is not the first time things like this would be happening in Chrisland; the other time, a teacher was said to have raped and it resulted in a trial and it became topical for a long time. And that calls to question the responsibility of the management of Chrisland.

“What is the supervisory mechanism that exists in that school particularly when we are talking about young children that are prone to abuse not only by paedophile teachers but by fellow students. If students are released to their teachers and handlers to embark on a foreign trip, they have a bigger duty to supervise them 24-hour and also keep a vigil on them while they are asleep.

“But with what happened, they failed woefully in their duty to ensure that the children did not fall into any moral harm. And the fact that they allegedly attempted to cover it up aggravated that failure, and in the process of the cover-up, they violated the right of the child when they took the child to allegedly conduct a pregnancy test without the knowledge of the parents.”

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Power-drunk ex-defence chief’s son damages car, beats owner

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A naval officer, Kayode Petinrin, has been accused of assaulting a Lagos motorist, identified simply as Sola, in the CMS area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the officer also damaged Sola’s car while trying to manoeuvre on the Bus Rapid Transit lane along the axis on Tuesday.

Our correspondents learnt that when Sola complained about his damaged car, the officer allegedly beat him up.

Kayode is said to be the son of a former Chief of Defence Staff, Oluseyi Petinrin, a retired Air Chief Marshal.

The victim told our correspondent that Kayode assaulted him because he challenged him (Kayode) for damaging his new vehicle.

Sola lamented that he was planning to take the car to the palace of the Elegushi for royal blessing when the incident happened.

He said, “I was driving along CMS and there was traffic; everybody was driving orderly, but he (Kayode) just wanted to come in front of me and I had already passed where he could enter from.

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“So, he tried to squeeze his way in and hit my car. I got out of my car to see the damage and I challenged him that what he did was wrong. But he just came out and told me to get back into my car.

“I reported him to a policeman around the area, and when the man challenged him, he showed the man his ID card. I told him that if he’s a naval officer, that did not give him the right to hit my car.

“Then he started punching me. I have a deep cut on my lips. My hand was bruised, and I was seriously injured in the attack.”

Sola said he reported the case at the Maroko Police Station, adding that the DPO called the military police to follow him to Kayode’s house.

He, however, said some Air Force officers guarding the house threatened to shoot if they got closer to the gate.

“I followed him all the way from CMS to know where he lives. I then called the palace to tell them what happened. That was when kabiyesi sent two men to meet me.

“On getting there, they said I should take the legal route by reporting at the nearest police station.

“We went to Maroko Police Station; the DPO, Ganiu Raji, called the military police to inform them what the military man did.

“When we got his house, two military men came out and stopped us before we could get closer. They said they were going to shoot us. The military guys said the house belonged to a former general, and we had no right to come there.

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“The most annoying thing is that I was driving the car to the palace so that they could pray for me. It’s a new car; a BMW series,” he added.

The spokesperson for the Navy, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, described Kayode as one of the bad eggs in the service.

Ayo-Vaughan revealed that the officer was recently suspended, while his rank was reduced.

He said, “This Petinrin (Kayode) was just disciplined. In fact, his rank was reduced because of a similar issue. He is one of the bad eggs that we are managing and that is because he is our son and brother.

“I will take it up; I will call the chief staff officer so that our naval police can invite him. I will send what you have sent to me to them so as to follow up from there.”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the incident.

He said the police did not go to the house to avert a face-off.

Hundeyin said, “The DPO informed the military police; but it turned out that the Air Force personnel there threatened to shoot the military police if they did not leave that place immediately. The military police had to withdraw.”

The police spokesperson said the property belonged to the Air Force, adding that efforts were being made to officially inform the Air Force authorities about the case for further action.

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ICPC docks NSCDC Official over Alleged N12.2m Employment Scam

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Solomon Ogodo

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has dragged a Superintendent of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Solomon Ogodo, to the dock over allegations bordering on forgery, employment racketeering and fraud.

ICPC, in charge no: CR/503/2022 brought before Honourable Justice M.S. Idris of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, sitting in Jabi, Abuja, accused the defendant of defrauding unsuspecting job seekers to the tune of Twelve Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N12,200,000).

In the 5-count charge, the Commission told the Court that the accused person on different occasions hoodwinked members of the public into parting with different sums of money in the guise of securing employments for their relatives in the Nigeria Correctional Services (NCoS).

The Court was further informed of how Mr. Ogodo, with the intent to commit fraud, forged offers of provisional appointments for some applicants into the Nigeria Correctional Services.

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His actions are contrary to Section 13 and punishable under Section 68 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, and contrary to Section 363 and punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Act. The actions also violate and is punishable under Section 1 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offence Act of 2006.

The defendant entered a “not guilty” plea when the charges were read for him.

The defense counsel, Mr. Osita Eze, thereafter moved a bail application on behalf of his client which was not opposed by ICPC counsel, Mr. Mashkur Salisu. However, Mr. Salisu urged the court to impose stringent conditions that will compel the defendant attend his trial, considering the fact that he only made himself available when he was declared wanted by the Commission.

The trial judge admitted the accused person to bail in the sum of N5m and two sureties in like sum who must be resident of FCT and civil servants not below grade level 12. The sureties were also ordered to swear affidavit of means, failure of which the defendant would be remanded in ICPC custody.

The matter was adjourned to the 16th of January 2023 for definite hearing.

Signed: Mrs. Azuka Ogugua
Spokesperson, ICPC

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Don’t buy meter, transformer, wires, NERC tells electricity consumers

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NERC’s Commissioner-in-charge of Consumers Affairs, Aisha Mahmud

• Insists consumers must sign agreement for refund
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), yesterday, in Abuja, said it remains the responsibility of electricity distribution companies to provide meters, transformers, poles, wires and other things needed for electricity supply to consumers.

NERC’s Commissioner-in-charge of Consumers Affairs, Aisha Mahmud, speaking during a three-day NERC/Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) Customer Complaint Resolution Meeting, said a lot of consumers in Nigeria are not aware of their right.

“It is not the responsibility of the consumers to buy meters, poles or any assets for the DisCos (distribution companies) because we have already provided for that in the tariff of the utilities.
“But under any circumstances that you have to purchase these items and you cannot wait for the DisCos to make that investment, we have made provision for that under our ‘investment regulation’,” Mahmud said.

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She noted that the commission will continue to educate consumers on their responsibilities and obligations, adding that there’s a regulation, and based on that, if a consumer has to purchase a transformer, it has to be done through an agreement.

She said: “The agreement should contain a dispute resolution clause and all other items that are expected of a standard agreement. What we expect from the DisCos is to use their Internally Generated Revenue to buy those assets or rather use shareholders’ investment or borrow from banks to purchase the assets.”

According to her, it’s NERC’s responsibility to educate customers on their rights and obligations and all they are supposed to know about the electricity market.
Managing Director of AEDC, Adeoye Fadeyibi, said the company will do everything possible to meet the demands of consumers.

Represented by the Head, Regulatory and Government Relation of the AEDC, Olajumoke Delonia, Fadeyibi said the idea of the forum was to address customers’ complaints and commended NERC for the initiative.

Guardian

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