The Federal High Court, Abuja Division has struck out the application filed by Premiere Academy, Lugbe, seeking to stop Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) from investigating the circumstances, which led to the alleged rape and death of one of its student, Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akphagher.
Instead, the court ordered an accelerated hearing of the substantive suit, fixing it for 22nd of June, which is the same day, Keren-Happuch died one year ago.
In a few weeks, it will be one year since Keren died on 22nd June 2021 and there is still a long way to bringing anyone to book.
Keren, a 14 year old, was raped allegedly at Premiere Academy and a condom left inside her by the rapist, infecting her with sepsis and compromising her immunity, which led to her tragic end.
Following a formal complaint lodged by Keren’s mother, Mrs. Vivien Vihimga Akphagher at the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), accusing the school of breaching their contract of a duty of care and protection of her daughter, leading her rape and death, the commission had summoned the school demanding information and explanations.
However, miffed by the summons from FCCPC, the school accused it of attempting to usurp the statutory powers of the police and asked the court to stop it. 2022.
In the action with suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/26/, the school named FCCPC and the Inspector General of Police as 1st and 2nd Defendants/Respondents.
Ruling on Premiere Academy’s interlocutory application, the presiding judge, Justice Evelyn Maha held thus: “This court finds as a fact that a grant of the application would in effect touch on the issue of the legality/illegality of the actions of the 1st Defendant taken against the plaintiff, which is a major issue to be determined in the substantive suit. Consequent upon this, the application is refused and same is struck out.”
Accordingly, the Judge ordered an accelerated hearing of the substantive matter.
Although Premiere Academy has denied that the rape did not occur within its premises, it is curious why the school rather than cooperate with all statutory bodies to unravel the case opted to mount a legal hurdle to prevent further probe by FCCPC.
Specifically, Premiere Academy, Lugbe brought an action praying the court to grant “an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 1st Defendant/Respondents (FCCPC) from inviting, summoning, causing this attend any public hearing, sitting or any proceedings by whatever name called of any staff, officer or representative of the plaintiff/applicant pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”
The school also prayed for “an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 1st Defendant/Respondents (FCCPC), its officers, representatives, agents, servants, privies or any other person deriving power, command, authority, instruction or directives from the 1st defendant/respondent howsoever from further asking, further demanding or further requesting for any document, data, and information or medical records personal to the student of the Plaintiff/Applicant with respect to or on behalf of Miss Keren-Happuch Aondodoo from the plaintiff pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”
The school predicated the reliefs sought on the claim that FCCPC has “threatened, harassed and bullied the plaintiff/applicant (Premiere Academy, Lugbe) in an attempt to forcefully obtain the said information and documents.
The school also argued that FCCPC “need to be prevented from usurping the constitutional powers of the police.”
However, in the considered ruling of Justice Maha, she refused the application, struck same out and ordered an accelerated hearing of the substantive suit.