The management of the Deeper Life High School has reacted to the controversy trailing the molestation of a JSS 1 student of the school in Akwa Ibom State.
In a video released on Tuesday, the school’s Education Secretary, Mrs Thelma Malaka, stated that the school would not cover up the issue but ensure justice was served.
“Permit me to remind you that the Office of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State has taken over the investigation of the matter to ensure neutrality and a dispassionate outcome.
“We appreciate the concerted efforts of everyone who has shown support in the investigation thus far,” she said in the clip which lasted a few minutes.
Malaka added, “We reiterate that we will be transparent and that justice will not only be served, but it will also be seen by all that it has been served.
“We would like to restate that Deeper Life High School stands on the core values of integrity and uprightness and will not attempt to cover up any immoral act under any guise.”
The student’s mother, Mrs Deborah Okezie, had posted a video on Facebook where she alleged that her 11-year-old son was sexually abused by his seniors when he was moved from his hostel to another hostel originally meant for senior students.
Recounting his ordeal, the victim said he was subjected to abuses such that he was forced to starve for days, beaten for bedwetting, and also sent to a hostel for senior students where he was also maltreated.
A screenshot taken on December 28, 2020, shows Mrs Deborah Okezie saying she is being threatened and under pressure to drop the case.
The video resulted in the suspension of the principal of the school by the authorities while the Akwa Ibom state government has launched an investigation into the incident.
Highlighting the actions taken by the school authorities since the victim’s mother raised the alarm, Malaka confirmed the suspension of the principal, noting that the management immediately initiated an investigation into the matter.
But she stated that they have decided to restrain themselves from further comments because it would amount to sub judice since the Akwa Ibom State government had taken over the investigation.
“Considering the potential impact of this issue, especially on what we stand for, we are compelled to provide an earlier update before the final report by the government.
“The panel has sat, and we have presented staff members and students of our school who have been mentioned in this particular case all through the period of the investigation,” the education secretary revealed.
She further explained, “We believe that the government will reveal the final report once the investigation is concluded … as a parent myself, I do care about the mental and physical health of (name withheld) who has been at the centre of this issue.
“Despite the intriguing underpinning situation, we will continue to show our love to him within the limits permitted by his parents. We have unflinching confidence in our God to resolve the issue such that at the end, the truth will ultimately prevail.”
Malaka disclosed that the police authorities were also investigating the matter and the school had been invited to tell its side of the story.
She stated that the detailed interrogation was adjourned due to the holidays and was hopeful that a new date would be communicated as soon as possible by the police.
The school official asked Nigerians to be on the lookout for the final report from the appropriate authorities.
On Monday, it was reported that the victim’s mother alleged threats and pressure from undisclosed quarters asking her to drop the case.
While she insisted on ensuring that justice was served in the case, she lamented that her son was frequently starved and beaten up by the senior students.
In the video, Okezie compared a picture of her son before and after he went to the boarding house, saying the child now looked malnourished.