Four female pupils between the ages of 5 and 6 in the Early Child Care session of Migrant Framers Children School (MFCS), Aguibeje, Enugu Ezike, Igboeze North local government area of Enugu state have been allegedly defiled by their headmaster.
The incident which happened on July 17, three days to the end of academic session for the pupils, has angered members of the community who described it as “an abomination and desecration” of the customs and traditions of the community, adding that nothing like that had happened before.
Orient Weekend sources alleged that the headmaster lured the students to a bush close to the school with the promise of giving each of them first class positions after the term’s examinations and buying gifts for them before defiling them.
The alleged defilement was discovered by the mother of one of the victims when she spotted blood stains on the child’s vagina and decided to know what happened. Upon interrogation, the girl told her mother what happened: how her headmaster had lured them into the bush and started inserting his fingers in their private organs, promising to buy them gifts and award them top positions in their classes ahead of their mates.
She continued, saying that the suspect, now at large, had approached her offered her a ride on his motorcycle, an offer she said she rejected.
She said the headmaster then approached her three other classmates and told them that he would give them first positions and buy them gifts and that they accepted to follow him.
After her friends had accepted the offer, the headmaster, yet again, approached her and told her that if she refused to follow them, that he would not give her first position in class. That was when she succumbed to his antics and followed him.
According to the victim, as narrated by her mother, shortly after they were lured into the bush, the headmaster started having carnal knowledge of them by inserting his fingers in their sexual organs which made her to develop pains around the region.
“After the act, the headmaster brought all of them back to the school with his motorcycle before, yet again, taking my daughter back to the same location where he had defiled them and continued the acts all over again. When he had satisfied his sexual desires, he brought her back to the school where he had dropped her classmates and left”, the mother disclosed.
Orient Weekend further gathered that, after committing the act and sensing trouble, the headmaster connived with the leader of the Neighborhood Watch in the community to perfect his escape from the angry mob who had started a search for him.
Medical tests conducted on the pupils by their parents showed evidence of penetration. To further conceal the truth, the Neighborhood Watch came to the hospital where the tests were conducted and took away the result.
“I was not around because I went to the farm. I was informed of the incident when I came back,” the father of one of the victim pupils. “I was told that my child came back from school and was complaining to her mother that her private part was hurting her because of what their headmaster had done to them,” he said, looking emotionally disturbed.
He continued: “so when her mother drew her closer to examine, she saw blood stains in her underwear.
My child said they were four who were taken to the bush by their headmaster and defiled them separately but that hers was hurting her so much that she was crying,” he told Orient Weekend.
Attah said that after being told what the headmaster had done to his child, he rode his motorcycle to the home of one of the two teachers who assist the headmaster in the school to make inquiries.
“She told me she was not in school when the headmaster committed the act. I immediately left there and went to the home of a second teacher and told her everything. She was shocked and followed me to the school but when we got there, nobody was around and she called the headmaster on phone but he was not picking up. We started looking for the man but he had escaped. We now went to the Neighborhood Watch to report the matter,” he narrated.
A community leader, who preferred not to be named, spoke to Orient Weekend on the incident. He said: “I was in my house when I got a phone call from my wife’s cousin who was crying and telling me that her child, one of the victims, was bleeding and almost dying. She said that the headmaster of their school lured her child inside the bush alongside three others and defiled them. She said he used his finger to penetrate and defile them and that they were bleeding,” he said looking downcast.
He further said that when he heard the story, he went straight to the particular village where it happened to find out the extent to which the matter had gone. “They told me that the matter was taken to the chairman of the Neighbourhood Watch. On enquiry, they said the man in question was brought there by the Neighbourhood Watch chairman of a neighbouring village who served as his surety and took him back without questioning or interrogation.
So, I became surprised and asked the chairman how he was then proceeding with the case, at which he got angry, questioning my interest in the matter,” he said.
The community leader said that, after the Neighborhood Watch chairman had spoken in that vein, he sensed foul play and rushed to the police to make an official report but their efforts at arresting the man was not successful.
“The police swung into action immediately but their efforts to get the man proved abortive. Several invitation letters were sent to produce the Neighborhood chairman at Aguibeje proved abortive. Now, the police division in charge of the case at Igboeze North local government area called me and told me that they had made efforts but the matter was again reported by the suspect to Udenu Area Command office and that the Area Commander had directed the Igboeze police to transfer the case file to them, even when he had not finished investigation or made any arrest in the matter as expected.
The DPO himself went to the community when he discovered the connivance between the headmaster and the Neighborhood chairman.
. Instead of taking the matter to the police, the chairman wants to suppress the case,” he said.
He said the headmaster, despite the invitation letter by the police, are still walking freely and no arrest warrant has been issued to bring him over for interrogation, prompting him to assume that the matter is being swept under the carpet.
To further seek justice for the pupils, the community leader, undeterred, travelled to Enugu to explore other options with NGOs and child rights groups to ensure that the perpetrator was arrested and prosecuted.
After he visited the Women Aid Collective (WACOL) and launched a complaint, the group petitioned the chairman, Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB), Ikeji Asogwa and the Enugu state police commissioner, CP Mohammed Danmallam.
A petition obtained by Orient Weekend titled: “Letter of Intervention” addressed to the duo, the group said “we write you with respect to a sad report that we received from a community called Aguibeje in Enugu Ezike, Igboeze North LGA of Enugu State.
According to the report, one Nathaniel Idoko, male, and the headmaster (Migrant) MFCS school at Aguibeje Enugu Ezike in Igboeze North LGA of Enugu state, was reported to have forcefully obtained carnal knowledge of four (4) underage female pupils, below the age of (6) six years.
The incident allegedly took place on the 17th of July 2017, in the office of the said Mr Nathaniel Idoko. The said headmaster allegedly used his fingers to perform sexual activities to the vagina of these innocent pupils, thereby deflowering them in the process,” it read.
Part of the petition corroborated the assumption that the Neighborhood chairman might have connived with the headmaster to perfect his escape.
“Meanwhile, the Neighbourhood Watch chairman Aguibeje, one Mr Jude Urama (alias 2PAC) is reported to have disappeared since the incident after allegedly collecting money from Nathaniel Idoko, to aid his escape.
The petition further said “Again, our informant, a community leader in Aguibeje shared with us how himself and one of the victims’ father, Ezeugwu John and Ossai Jude reported the incident to the divisional police in Igboeze North LGA Enugu state. The police could not do much, as at the time of this report, because the suspect and the Neighbourhood chairman are nowhere to be found.
The latest report is that the suspect has approached the Area Commander in Udenu, who is now calling for the case file in the matter, which is with the DPO in Igboeze North, and which files, investigation has not commenced at all.
We sense foul play and therefore humbly and kindly urge you to use your good office to investigate the matter,” the petition read.
The community leader also told this reporter that “since I started this journey of seeking justice for the pupils, I have received threats from the Neighborhood chairman and his boys. I made the threat known to the police.”
On the allegations that the head teacher might have defiled the pupils for ritual purposes, he said “we don’t know if he is a ritualist. We have heard stories that all these ritualists use blood for their sacrifice so we don’t know what this man had in mind in defiling the pupils.”
When Orient Weekend reached out to the headmaster of the school for comments, his phone line rang several times but he was not picking up. When subsequent calls were put through by this reporter, the suspect picked the call and when he heard the word “journalist” during formal introduction, he dropped the call and his line became switched off immediately. This reporter followed up with phone texts but none was replied.
The police public relations officer (PPRO) in the state, SP Ebere Amarizu, confirmed this incident when contacted and said a thorough investigation into it had commenced, promising that the suspect would be charged accordingly when necessary.