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Keren-Happuch: One year later, rapist yet unknown

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ONE year after the rape and death of fourteen-year-old Keren-Happuch Akpagher, a boarding student of Premier Academy, Lugbe, the identity of her rapist is yet to be known, and hope of justice is beginning to fade.

The death of the fourteen-year-old had sparked outrage among members of the public and led to a series of protests across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Following her death, the FCT Police Command began investigations into her rape and death.

However, her mother Vivienne Akpagher and a Coalition for Gender-Based Violence Responders (CGBVR) had alleged that the case was being undermined by the Command as unfair advantage was being conferred on the school.

The case was subsequently transferred to the Gender Unit of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department (FCIID), where it is now being handled.

The House of Representatives also ordered for DNA tests to be carried out on teachers in the school following a protests by the mother of the deceased

The ICIR visited the FCIID’s Gender Unit for updates on the case.

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Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Gender, Margret Ochalla was unavailable at the time of the visit.

However, an official of the unit who spoke anonymously to The ICIR said DNA samples of suspected teachers had been taken and that investigations were ongoing into the case.

“We have taken the samples of all the teachers involved. We have visited the school itself and we have taken statements from all those necessary including the doctors and first responders who attended to her.

“We are awaiting the results of the DNA which will give us further directions. For now, that is where we are. The investigation report will be ready very soon,” he said.

He also noted that the FCIID Gender unit intended to take DNA samples of two male students of the school, whose parents were uncooperative.

“There were two male students who we intended to take samples from to aid the investigations, but their parents refused to release them.

“Since they are not suspects in the case, we cannot compel them. But our report will be ready soon and it will contain every detail of our efforts so far,” he said.

Backstory…

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VIVIENNE Akpagher had received the devastating news of her daughter’s death on Saturday, June 22, 2021.

Her fourteen-year-old daughter, Keren-Happuch, had been confirmed dead at Queen’s Hospital, Wuse, following the discovery of a condom and dead spermatozoa in her vagina.

A diabetic patient since she was nine, the condom left in her vagina had led to a series of complications which degenerated to a septic infection that later claimed her life.

Keren’s mother had stated that the deceased had been raped while in school custody, however, the school  Premier Academy said the claim was not true.

She had also said vital information concerning the case was not being divulged to her, including the result of an autopsy conducted on the deceased, which was shared with the school authorities.

They had urged the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to transfer the case to more competent hands and the FCIID had been assigned to the case.

Author profile

Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via vopara@icirnigeria.org

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