Keren: Court refuses Premiere Academy’s request to stop rape probe

The Federal High Court Abuja Division, Thursday, 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 students, Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akphagher.

The court has therefore ordered an accelerated hearing of the substantive suit, which has now been slated for the 22nd of June.

The date coincides with the day Keren-Happuch died one year ago.

Keren, it would be recalled, died on 22nd June 2021.

Keren, a 14 year old, was allegedly raped 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, 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.

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 the school 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.

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