A six-year-old girl (name withheld) who was in kindergarten at the Nigeria Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) Nursery and Primary School in Badagry, Lagos State has been reportedly defiled in her school.
The girl, a special child with hearing and speech impairment, was reportedly defiled on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, during their graduation ceremony.
Meanwhile, her family has raised an alarm that the school authority is trying to cover up the violation of their daughter.
Speaking to SaharaReporters on Thursday, the father, Mark Akande lamented the violation of his daughter in a school that he felt should protect her dignity.
According to him, regrettably, the school authority instead of investigating the matter to fish out the person who defiled his daughter, is busy trying to cover it up.
“I am seriously in pain; my six-year-old daughter was defiled in her school at NAOWA Nursery and Primary School, 243 Recce Battalion, Nigerian Army Barracks, Ibereko, Badagry, Lagos State on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.”
Akande lamented that when his wife, who is a teacher in the school but in a different class discovered what happened, she informed him and immediately took her to Medical Reception Station, 243 Battalion, Ibereko Barracks, Badagry, Lagos State for examination.
“To our greatest consternation,” Akande said, “the doctor in the military hospital tried to cover up even though, the nurses had already checked her and told us that our daughter was violated.”
He noted that what changed the whole narration was when he requested a medical report on what happened to his daughter. He added, “But within the time frame we were able to reach Badagry General Hospital,” where another test was conducted.
He narrated: “On July 19, 2023, at around 7:30 pm, my wife started to bathe our two children and when it was my daughter’s turn, she started to shout when her mother tried to wash her private parts. I beckoned to her to bring the child so I could talk to her. When she came, she demonstrated how someone dragged her away.
“She also narrated how her vagina was penetrated. So we decided to take her to the hospital and the nearest hospital is the military hospital inside the barracks where we live.
“My wife is a teacher at NAOWA Nursery and Primary School, Ibereko- Barracks, Badagry, Lagos.”
He added, “On getting to the military hospital around 8 pm, we met the nurses and other medical staff but the doctor was not around. They did some checks on her and told us orally that there was a defilement. Then we requested the medical report but we were told to come back the following day, July 20, 2023, by 8 am to see the doctor.
“They prescribed and gave us some drugs to give to her which include ‘red’ and ‘yellow’ drug capsules, paracetamol, and vitamin B complex that night.”
Akande lamented that on the following day when they got back to the hospital around 8 am as advised by the nurses, “we met the doctor, Captain O. D. Abe, who now started to counsel us after which I demanded a medical report. But instead, he asked what we wanted to do with it. I told him nothing and that we just wanted a report to that effect.
“We requested that they should conduct a medical test on her but he said there was no need to subject her to another experience which might worsen her situation. He told us that he was aware that the people living in our block must have heard about what happened and the stigmatisation it would bring to her.”
“We insisted on examining her medically. So he, the matron and one other senior nurse checked her. We were referred to the lab, and at the lab, they only conducted HIV and Hepatitis B tests and we were surprised that they said they conducted urinalysis among others,” he narrated.
The distressed father of two further narrated that on Wednesday, July 19, which was the school’s graduation day, they were issued entrance tickets as my daughter was one of those moving from kindergarten to the next class.
“The tickets were for all graduands to invite guests and the school authority closed the school toilets that day thereby depriving their pupils the use of the toilets to answer nature’s call,” he said.
He noted that his daughter started at NAOWA Nursery and Primary School when she was three months old since her mother teaches in the school.
He, however, noted that when they discovered that the doctor was not ready to do the necessary medical checkup on their daughter, they decided to take her to Lagos State Government General Hospital, Badagry.
“When we got there, we were referred to the emergency department and they checked her and advised us on the test to do. We were told that there were brushes in her vagina and that it was reddish.
“The doctor helped the lab to collect specimen from her vagina for test and we paid for it. We were told to come back and pick up the test the next day by 9 am, but on getting there the following day we were told that they were subjecting it to a second test.
“I was surprised so I spoke with Mrs. Bakare, the Lagos State Government welfare officer there and she directed that I should call the State Child Protection office directly, which we did and we were referred to Mirabel at Ikeja but because of the rain we couldn’t go so Mrs. Bakare advised that we should be patient.”
Akande, who is demanding justice for his daughter, told SaharaReporters that though, they stay inside the barracks and the wife works in the school, they cannot trade the injustice meted out to their daughter, a special child with speech impairment, for “our comfort because of the accommodation and job by remaining silent in this situation”.
“We want justice for our daughter. We are appealing to all lovers of justice to come to the aid of our daughter,” he said.
Meanwhile, both medical reports from the military hospital and Lagos State General Hospital, which SaharaReporters obtained, confirmed that the girl was defiled.
The medical report from the Military hospital, with Ref: 243BNMRS/G1/300/03, dated July 20, 2023, which was signed by Captain O. D. Abe, Regimental Medical Officer, recommended further police investigation.
The report titled reads:
“Patient was brought in with no obvious discomfort. The mother said she noticed the child’s expression of pain while bathing her. No bleeding nor blood stains were noticed by her mother on her clothing while bathing.
“On examination, no area of bruises nor scratches mark seen. The vagina appeared normal without the hymen in place.
“The investigation results are as follows: HIV – Non-Reactive; HCV – Non-Reactive; HBsAg- Non-Reactive and Urinalysis – Nil Abnormality Detected.”
“Assessment of ruptured hymen in a special child with no known cause but suspected abuse was made. She is therefore recommended for further police investigation and to be enrolled in a school of special children,” the report reads.
Also, the medical report from the state general hospital confirmed the defilement.
The report dated July 26, 2023, with Ref –165010 read, “I Dr Akinyemi, Akinwunmi Olayide Medical Practitioner of General Hospital Badagry do hereby certify that on the 20th day of July, 2023, Police Inspr. Adebiyi Grace did bring to me for examinations:
“A person named (name withheld) Female. Complaint: Suspicion of Sexual Assault. Upon examination, I found as follows: A 6-year-old healthy looking child with speech impairment. Vaginal examination revealed an offensive odour from the vagina with areas of hyperaemia on inner aspect of both vulva. the uretral orifice appeared normal. Hymen appeared intact hyperemia vulva? cause. Kiv – (1) Trauma (2) Sexual Assault.”
Meanwhile, efforts made by SaharaReporters to speak with the school authority failed as its head, Mrs Elizabeth Odiase did not answer calls on her mobile phone.
Multiple texts and WhatsApp messages sent to her mobile line did not also help.
When SaharaReporters contacted the Nigerian Army authority, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu promised to get the school management to react.
“I will contact the unit at the location and will get back to you,” he said.
However, he had yet to get back at the time of filing this report.