In News by Naijatweet Staff on the 03rd, July, 2019

Police frustrating investigation into sexual abuse of seven-year-old pupil

Police frustrating investigation into sexual abuse of seven-year-old pupil

The mother of a seven-year-old boy allegedly abused sexually at the special needs school in Abuja has accused the police of frustrating her family’s pursuit of justice.

PREMIUM TIMES Times reported how the pupil of the School for the Deaf, Kuje, a satellite town of Abuja, was allegedly sexually abused in the school.

His mother, Hannatu Usman, says the investigating police officer (IPO) in charge of the case is keeping her in the dark on the date the case was taken to court.

The alleged abuse first came to light in April when the victim told his mother how he was being forced to perform erotic acts on older students.

He revealed being driven in the night to a gathering where men killed and conducted rituals, drew children’s blood and forced them to perform erotic acts.

The boy said he was brutalised whenever he refused to do as instructed.

However, the then Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, after weeks of investigation, said a government panel had found no evidence of occult practices or cannibalism in the school.

The minister dismissed all the claims made as “unfounded and baseless.” He said the panel rested its conclusion in part on the fact that no other parent reported missing children at the school.

Fresh Allegations

Mrs Usman, who is an oncologist, said the IPO, Edward Igbafe, deceived her and her mother, Salamatu Maina, and denied them information as a result of which she was unable to attend the first court session where the suspected molester, Sani Filo, was arraigned.

“The police have already told us that this case is between the boy and the state, that was what Edward told us. And we’ve been working with what he told us”, Mrs Maina, the victim’s grandmother, said.

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She said the family raised the issue at a meeting on Tuesday with an aide of the Deputy Commissioner of Police on Criminal Investigations, Abdullahi Hassan, at his office in the FCT Police Command.

According to Mrs Usman, Mr Igbafe’s actions were on purpose because he had asked her and her mother for money in the past but they were unable to give him because they did not have enough.

“If we had known that the IPO has been lying to us, we would have been coming here every day”, Mrs Maina said.

Mrs Maina expressed dissatisfaction over the police report tendered for the case. She described it as a “mockery” of police reports and said that a lot of important things were left out of it.

“In the police report, they said that they had gone to check all the children. Those children were not all checked. They are just 170. They said that the children were separately investigated. They are scared of a third party going to investigate those children.

“When we went to the National Primary Healthcare Regulatory Agency, we wanted them to come with their manpower to come and test all those children, check them, screen them, let them have NDLEA involved, they refused. They don’t want anybody there because it will open a can of worms”, Mrs Usman said.

According to her, “it is a rotten system and children are being spoilt in that school but they are trying to cover up everything.”

She said the hostel patron knew what they did “but it is either he is scared or he is part of it.”

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Mrs Usman and her mother expressed discomfort over the fact that when the police were obtaining the statement of the accused molester, Mr Filo, the hostel patron at the school, Yahaya Adeboye, was the translator.

“The funny thing about the case is that the patron, the man who was assigned to sleep with the children to see to their safety, to see to their security, who was supposed to know if anything was going wrong in the hostel, was the interpreter of that poor boy”, Mrs Maina said.

According to her, the patron should also be questioned by the police because when he was questioned in front of the school principal, he allegedly refused to utter a word. She and her daughter believed that he should not have been the one interpreting on behalf of the accused.

Both women said sending the accused molester to jail would not completely solve the matter.

“What I want everybody to know is that sacrificing that poor boy is not the end of the story. The system is rotten”, Mrs Maina said.

The prosecutor, Yakubu Dabo, said the first hearing of the case was sometime in February. He said it was then adjourned to March 5.

He said he called Mrs Usman several times after the first hearing but received no reply.

Police Speak

The aide to the deputy police chief, Mr Hassan, said sometimes, for cases like this that are in the public eye, after the investigation had been conducted, the police arraign the suspect in court for remand in prison, pending concrete information from the complainant.

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He reassured Mrs Usman and Mrs Maina that the interpreter had not provided evidence to the court yet and neither had the complainants.

Mr Hassan said, concerning their complaints about the patron being the accused molester’s interpreter, the police obtained an independent interpreter.

“We got an interpreter independently, have you forgotten? We did this interpretation more than six times,” he said.

Mr Hassan said the patron’s role was very vital in the case because he was the one who first translated the confession from the accused molester. He said the patron was the one who broke the case for them.


PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the victim told his mother he was being sexually abused at the special needs school in Kuje.

Interviews by PREMIUM TIMES with the boy’s family, officials and pupils at the school, police and other government personnel, paint a troubling picture of what appears to be a rare case of brutal abuse of a minor that went unnoticed

The report, first by the Abuja-based Human Rights Radio, that a child with disability was sexually abused at a school his family hoped will help him with care, terrified parents and angered rights advocates, not less because it happened in the nation’s capital.

The then Minister of Education, Mr Adamu, said the allegations of cannibalism, sexual abuse, sucking of human blood and existence of a cult at the school, were unfounded and baseless.

Mr Adamu, however, confirmed that a police report as part of the investigations confirmed that a student was sexually assaulted by a staff of the school.

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