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Lagos shuts Chrisland schools over alleged sexual violence

By Eniola Daniel
19 April 2022   |   4:08 am
Public outrage yesterday trailed a viral video depicting improper acts among school children, who went for a trip to Dubai.

• Police: we are investigating the matter
• Chrisland children remains our centre of focus, says school

Public outrage yesterday trailed a viral video depicting improper acts among school children, who went for a trip to Dubai.

A mother to a 10-year- old girl, an affected student, posted on her Instagram page, alleging that her child was raped during the trip organised by the school.

According to the viral video, posted on the Instagram page of a music executive, Ubi Franklin, the students were involved in an amorous act.

But the mother in her reaction to the video alleged that her daughter was assaulted while some students filmed the incident and posted it online.

Many internet users (netizens), who watched the video, yesterday, blamed the woman and parents of other students for failing in their duty to bring up godly children.

But the girl’s mother alleged that the school tried to cover up the incident.

She further claimed that the school threatened to kill her daughter if she ever spoke about the incident.

She said: “A parent called me and said that she needed to see me urgently. I went to her house and she told me that something had been trending in my child’s school and she believes I was not aware. The woman showed me the video and told me that all the parents are aware. Immediately I informed my husband.

The mother of the pupil further stated that when the school was confronted about the incident, they suspended her daughter.

In a letter purportedly signed by its Head Teacher, G. I. Azike, which had the name of Chrisland School to unnamed girl’s parents, the girl was suspended indefinitely.

The school, in the letter, said it discovered that their daughter was involved in improper behaviour during the recently concluded World School Games in Dubai.

The letter read: “With a few of her counterparts, she willfully participated in a game they called ‘Truth or Dare’, a game which led her and a few other co-learners to carry out the immoral act after the lights out instruction was given.

“In line with our core values centred on discipline, Chrisland Schools have zero tolerance for any improper behaviour and misconduct.

“ A full-scale investigation has been done and the parents of all the culpable learners have been duly notified of the necessary punishment meted out on the learners. The parents gave their full cooperation realising the need to work with the school so that the learners can be corrected and be of expected proper behaviour henceforth.

“However, in the course of the school’s efforts to see how best we can help the student who was a major participant in the whole incident, every effort to inform you as her parent about the incident and ensure that this improper behaviour is permanently corrected, has proved to be futile.

“We cannot as a school condone such. Consequently, the girl is hereby placed on indefinite suspension until you as the parents ensure that she is punished, adequately counselled and rehabilitated.

“However, if you need our assistance in any form to rehabilitate the girl, the school is willing to assist.”

MEANWHILE, following the incident, Lagos State government, yesterday, directed that all Chrisland Schools within the state closed, pending further investigations.

The state government, in a statement, said: “The attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to the alleged sexual violence case involving students of Chrisland Schools which occurred in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“It is pertinent to note that all allegations are being investigated by the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including Ministry of Education, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Ministry of Justice and the Lagos State Domestic & Sexual Violence Agency, whilst the criminal allegations have been escalated to the Commissioner of Police.

In view of the allegations, we are committed to ensuring that adequate medical and pscyho social 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-centered institutions within the state, formulate and implement policies and systems that are compliant with the Executive Order (NO.EO/AA08 of 2016), Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Program.

“We also use this medium to remind the general public that any person who engages in any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child, commits an offence and is liable to custodial sentence of fourteen (14) years. This includes “producing, distributing, receiving, or possessing an image of child pornography”.

“In the meantime, all Chrisland Schools within Lagos State are hereby closed, pending further investigations. ”

ALSO, Lagos State Police Command, said it has commenced a full-scale investigation into the matter.

The Command’s spokesperson, Benjamin Hundeyin, in a statement, said the attention of the Lagos State Police Command was drawn to the alleged rape video purportedly depicting students of Chrisland School Lagos, going viral on social media.

Reacting, the school in a statement signed by member of the advisory board,  Akin Fadeyi, said Chrisland children remain their centre of focus.

It said: “ We have followed up on reports making the rounds on certain developments bordering on the morals and ethics of some of the students under our care, who represented the school at the World School games, Dubai between 8 and 14 of March 2022.

“While we understand the emotions this has generated, we assure the public that our first approach as an institution was to assume parental roles by offering support to those involved and ensuring that nothing affected their senses of esteem.”

“However, after a comprehensive evaluation of the situation, we cannot help, but express how scandalised and distressed we feel as mothers, fathers and instructors with a relationship that holds a direct bearing on the development of those involved.

“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.

“To insinuate that a pregnancy test was carried out on a student, for whatever reason therefore, is a highly unfortunate conjecture.”