By Gabriel Dike and Lukman Olabiyi

The axe of the Lagos State Government, yesterday, fell on the  Chrisland Schools as it ordered total shutdown of all its campuses within the state pending investigations of an alleged sexual misconduct against some pupils.

The statement said government’s attention had been drawn to the alleged sexual violence case involving students of the 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.”

The state government reminded 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 14 years. This includes “producing, distributing, receiving, or possessing an image of child pornography.”

    According to viral reports, a pupil of Chrisland School, Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lagos, was gang-raped by male students in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, last month.

The 10-year-old pupil was among students selected to represent the school at the World School Games in Dubai. The assault was videoed by one of the students and it was alleged the school concealed it for a month.

Investigations revealed that teachers and staff of the school accompanied the pupils to the competition. But the officials claimed to be unaware of the assault.            

Many parents of Chrisland School and others have condemned the school’s management for keeping the incident from the victim’s parents a month after she was assaulted.

In the viral video, which was posted on the Instagram page of Ubi Franklin Ofem, mother of the girl in the eye of the storm claimed the school attempted to cover up the assault from them till another parent showed her the video of the incident.

Reacting on his Twitter handle, music producer, Ofem, narrated how his friend’s 10-year-old daughter was gang-raped by her fellow students, who recorded and shared it on Instagram.

“Just got off the phone with a friend of mine. His 10-year-old daughter was selected to represent her school at the World School Games in Dubai. His daughter was raped by fellow students, video-taped and posted on Instagram and the school concealed it for a month.

“He found out on his own when another parent called his wife and showed his wife the video of his 10-year-old daughter being circulated on Instagram. I have spent the last 1 hour listening to confessional statements by some teachers and I am begging this should rather be a dream,” Franklin tweeted.

In an updated post on his Twitter, Franklin alleged the school took the girl from the parents claiming that they wanted to a conduct COVID-19 test but rather took her for pregnancy test.

However, in a twist, the school management suspended the 10-year-old pupil and the male students for taking part in a truth-or-dare game in Dubai.

A statement dated April 14, 2022, by the head teacher of Chrisland School, Mrs. G.I. Azike, read: “It was discovered that your daughter was involved in an improper behaviour during the recently concluded World School Games in Dubai, with a few of her counterparts willfully participated in a game they called ‘Truth or Dare’, a game which led her and few other co-learners to carry out immoral act after the lights out instruction was given.”

Azike said a full-scale investigation has been conducted and parents of the culpable students have been informed of the necessary punishment meted out on those involved.

Related News

She said: “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 behavior henceforth.

“However, in the course of the school’s efforts to see how best we can help 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 behavior is permanently corrected has proved to be futile.”

The head teacher said the school cannot condone such misconduct and that the girl is placed on indefinite suspension ‘’until you as the parents ensure that she is punished, adequately counseled and rehabilitated.’’   

In a swift reaction, the mother of a 10-year-old pupil has cried out to Nigerians for help after discovering that her child was raped during a trip to Dubai for a competition, which was organised by the school.

“A parent called me that she needed to see me urgently. I went to her house and she told me that something had been trending in Chrisland 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.

“Please I am begging Nigerians to help me because Chrisland was trying to hide this issue. They were trying to push us out of the way and my daughter was affected psychologically. Please I need help as a mother. I am begging fellow Nigerians to help me.

“They have been threatening my daughter that if she speaks out they are going to kill her. That it is a man’s world and nothing would happen. My daughter was dying in silence,” she stated.

According to her, after they confronted the school about the assault, the school suspended the daughter. “Because we have started confronting them that we are aware of what they did, the school sent her a suspension letter.

“When my daughter explained to me what happened, she said that they went out in the morning to have breakfast and one of the boys, Kachi, begged her to borrow him her phone charger which she obliged. After they had dinner, Kachi called her room that she should come and take her charger. She went there for her charger.

“When she got into the room, one of them said she should take her charger from the toilet it was when she entered the toilet, that they hijacked her and told her to take a substance, so they were all under the influence. She said after that she did not know what she was doing again. They told her to be climbing them and someone stood there videoing them and posting it out,” she narrated in the video.

Meanwhile, The Police Command in Lagos State has said it had begun investigation into the alleged viral rape video purportedly depicting students of Chrisland School, Lagos.

Spokesman for the command, Benjamin Hundey, in a statement said the Commissioner of Police in the state, Abiodun Alabi, ordered the investigation.

Hundey quoted the police boss as saying that the investigation would establish the identities of the players in the video, the true incident in the video, and its geographical location.

The investigation would also cover 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 attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to an alleged rape video purportedly depicting students of Chrisland School, Lagos, going viral on social media. The command is equally taking cognisance of the cybercrime angle to the whole episode and will not hesitate to enlist the support of the Interpol should the need arises. For a holistic and unbiased investigation, the command shall be working with relevant ministries, departments, agencies, and non-governmental organisations,” he said.

He gave the assurance that due diligence would be observed to ensure that there was no miscarriage of justice.

A 47-year-old Chrisland School supervisor allegedly defiled an under aged pupil. The minor was two years and 11-months at the time the alleged defilement occurred in 2016 at the VGC branch of the school.

The school supervisor was arraigned before Justice Sybil Nwaka, the prosecution was led by Mr Jide Boye, the Chief State Counsel.