Keren-Happuch: CSOs issue ultimatum to ministries, threaten nationwide protest

THE Coalition for Gender-Based Violence Responders (CGBVR) on Wednesday issued an ultimatum to the ministries of women affairs and education over their silence on the rape and death of Keren-Happuch Akpagher who was a student of Premier Academy, Lugbe.

The CSOs threatened to embark on a nationwide protest if there was no response from the ministries at the end of five days.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, a member of the coalition Alu Azege said letters had been issued to the government agencies informing them of Keren’s death.

However, according to her, the organisations have not made any attempt to reach out to the family or act on the case.

“We had sent out letters to them but four months after, we are yet to be called to even give any statement or be told how far this has gone.

“We are giving them an ultimatum. If we do not hear from them, we will be doing a nationwide protest,” she said.

Azege noted that the said ministries had abandoned their responsibility to safeguard children within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Where is the case if they have done anything, and what information do they have? We need to know how far they have gone and if we do not hear from them in five days we will commence a nationwide strike. Not just strike, but a nationwide protest to tell them our grievances,” she added.

Also present at the briefing was the mother of the deceased Vivienne Akpagher, who told journalists that the case had been transferred from the FCT Police Command to the Gender Unit at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, Abuja.

“As at now, the case has been transferred. Last week Monday I was called to the Force Gender Unit where I wrote my statement. The Force Gender Unit is now acting on the case and investigations have started. So far that is the position of the Keren-Happuch case,” she said.

She said she had requested that the case be transferred because the FCT Police Command had undermined the issue and shown bias towards Premier Academy, Lugbe.

“My daughter Keren Akpagher passed on on the 22nd of June this year, and on the same date, I reported the matter to the FCT Command who were handling the case, and up until 6th of October, they have shown favouritism towards Premier Academy Lugbe where my daughter was molested that led to her death.

“In that time, the hospital where she died issued a medical report and when her autopsy was carried out, the pathologist also issued an autopsy report to the police. The police had given out this same report to the school but have refused to allow us access to this report,” Akpagher disclosed.

Also speaking at the event, Executive Director Men Against Rape Lemmy Ughegbe accused the Minister of Women Affairs Pauline Tallen of being selective in handling cases affecting children in Abuja.

“Two months after Keren died, the minister who had been told did not say anything or take any action; she did not as much as call the family of Keren-Happuch to speak with them.

“This same minster rushed when it affected the grandson of a former big man in our country.

“This selective approach to ensuring that justice is done is distasteful and we have said that we will not keep quiet because it amounts to high level hypocrisy,” he said.

Keren-Happuch died on the 22nd of June 2021. Doctors reportedly found a condom in her uterus, which infected her with sepsis, leading to her death.

Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

Support the ICIR

We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Support the ICIR

We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.


Most read