Written by Sarah NEGEDU, Austine ELEMUE

Pupils’ rape: 7 FCT teachers face sack

There are strong indications that seven teachers of Junior Secondary School, Gwarinpa Estate, may face dismissal over allegation of sexual assault on junior students of the school, our correspondent can authoritatively report. 

Confirming the development to our correspondent, the Public Relations Officer of FCT Education Secretariat, Mr. Kabiru Musa, said the Federal Capital Territory Universal Basic Education Board has set up a committee to investigate the allegation. 

He also stressed that the committee has been charged to fast track the investigation with a view to ascertaining the truthfulness or otherwise of the sexual allegation by some junior students of the school. 

Musa, who said the administration was embarrassed by the report, also noted that the authorities will not fail to sanction any erring teaching and non-teaching staff in public schools across the six area councils of the territory. 

According to him, "it is true that seven of our teaching staff in Junior Secondary School Gwarinpa Estate have been accused of sexual misconduct. And I must confirm to you that the administration feels embarrassed by this ugly trend. 

"However, a committee has been set up by the Universal Basic Education Board to investigate the matter and come up with its findings. I cannot speak further on the committee's work, but I must tell you that any person found culpable will face the wrath of the law".

Trouble started for the seven embattled teachers when three pupils, names withheld, of the school accused them of sexually molesting them, an allegation they denied.

The matter came to a head when the 3-year old baby of a guardian of one the teens was diagnosed with an undisclosed sexual infection.

The guardian, who simply identified herself as Chioma, disclosed that her 14-year old ward had confessed that she may have infected the 3-year old as secretly made frequent sexual contacts with baby.

It was during interrogation that the ward confessed to have been having sexual liaison with some of her teachers alongside her classmates in a statement to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP.

It would be recalled that cases of rape especially among minors and teenagers in public places are on the increase in the Federal Capital Territory. 

Though, official statistics from the FCT Social Development Secretariat are not published, but the director in charge of gender matters, Dr. Agnes Hart, told our correspondent that the secretariat is inundated with cases of rape among minors and teenagers.  

Hart, who described the trend as beastly, also stressed that the situation has reached an alarming state. 

She also said that the girl-child is no longer safe as they are being molested and raped by immediate family members, teachers and clergymen. 

"The recent cases of domestic violence in the territory is quite alarming and pathetic. There is no day the secretariat does not receive a report on domestic violence mostly on rape. Our Sexual and Gender Based Violence Response Team is inundated with such cases. 

"But the most disturbing aspect of this matter is that nowhere is safe for the girl-child in our society. Our homes, churches, mosques and schools are no longer safe because most of the cases we handled are cases related to fathers raping their daughters, pastors raping little girls in their congregations and teachers raping their pupils and students. In fact, we are living in a beastly society," Hart stated. 

She revealed that the FCT Administration has set up Sexual Assault Center, SAC, in Karu General Hospital to handle cases of domestic violence, adding that such centers will be established in other public health institutions across the territory. 

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