Group Seeks Justice for Primary 1 Minor Raped in Zaria School
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
An NGO, the Basileia Vulnerable Persons Rights Initiative, has raised an alarm over the rape of a 5 years minor, Khadijah Attah, in her school in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Khadijah, who is a primary 1 pupil of Falcon International School, Zaria, was defiled at the school premises on the 17th of February 2021, without the school management and security agencies doing anything substantive to track the rapist.
According to the Executive Director of the NGO, Jennifer Agbaji, who spoke with Center for Media Advocacy for Mother and Child (CAMAC), said though Khadijah, couldn’t identify her rapist at the identification parade, but the police have not made any arrest or suspected anyone, even the crime was perpetrated in the school premises during school hours.
CAMAC is a media advocacy group that focus on advocating for policies and programmes that favour vulnerable women, adolescent girls and children in areas of education, health, child’s rights, protection, development and survival, while also drawing the attention of government and other stakeholders to their plight, with the view to finding lasting solutions to their problem. As well as creating awareness and sensitizing the public on the above areas.
She said there is need for the Police to put pressure on the management of the school on producing the rapist and not make the matter die as they seem to be stranded even if Khadijah couldn’t identify the rapist.
She explained that the only thing Khadijah, was able tell was that “He opened my bom bom and lay me on the table we use to write in school”.
She also said “I remained in class alone, (my sergeant was not around) because my teacher said I don’t know how to write and I should sit and continue to write.”
Mrs. Agbaji, noted that when a child is brought to school the custody has left their parent and the school is supposed to be in charge of the welfare of her pupils.
“Schools are supposed to be safe spaces. Falcons International School Zaria should admit their negligence and produce the rapist or shut down the school to prevent this from reoccurring.
“Khadijah did not commit any crime by going to school, she is in school like any other girl child as a Human Right, she has the right to learn and be in a safe school. Now it is Khadijah, we want it to stop now, No girl should be raped /defiled. She added.
The negligence of both Police and the School Management, prompted the NGO, to petition the State Commissioner of Education, seeking the commission to make the school accountable for the rape if they can not provide the rapist.
The petition dated 3rd March 2021, addressed to the Commissioner with the heading: “Rape/Defilement Of 5year Old Khadija Abduraman Atta Who Was Severely Injured While In The Premises Of An Educational Institution As A Pupil Of The Same”, signed by Jennifer Agbaji, read in part “with the greatest respect Sir, we hope priority attention is given to this matter as the school needs to be accountable for any child in their custody as schools are supposed to be safe spaces for children. We are ready and available to provide additional information and records you would need.
“That Khadijah said that her teacher asked her to remain in class while the others left because she doesn’t know how to write. The sergeant was not around, while the act was carried out in her words …..‘’He opened my bombom and laid me on the chair , were we use to read’’.
It further read, “We have been contacted by the parent of Miss Khadija Abduraman Atta, a minor in the custody of a school called FALCON INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL at No. 19 dadda’u road Tudun Wada Zaria. The mother whose permission we have received and on behalf of Khadijah, we write this petition.
“The fact of this case as narrated by Khadijah and her Mother are as follows: That on the 17th day of February 2021 Khadijah went to school (Falcon nursery and primary school) excited like any other girl-child.
“That on the same 17th day of February 2021 returned bleeding she said she wanted to ease herself and her guardian told her to use the potty by the side.
“That one miss Saratu (aka maman dada) went to clean her up and came back to tell her mother that she is bleeding from her private part.
That after being advised to take her to the hospital by a pharmacist they arrived at Ahmadu Bello University teaching hospital and they were advised to call the police.
“That the police carried out an identification parade to let her identify the rapist. Khadijah was confused that she couldn’t identify the rapist and the police let the matter to rest.”