Chrisland School of infamy

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Ime Akpan

In 2020, the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal affirmed the 60-year-jail sentence of a 47-year-old class teacher of Chrisland School, Adegboyega Adenekan, for defiling a toddler aged two years and 11 month in 2016.

Adenekan was convicted of the offence on October 24, 2019, by Justice Sybil Nwaka of the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja.

Not satisfied with Justice Nwaka’s verdict, Adenekan had through his lawyer, Mr. Olatunde Adejuyigbe , approached the Court of Appeal, seeking to overturn it.

However, a three-man panel, headed by Justice Mohammed Garba, dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit and affirmed the 60-year jail term imposed on him by the high court.

In her evidence-in-chief at the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence court in Lagos, the victim, hereinafter referred to as Child X said she was abused serially by the paedophile in 2016 at the Victoria Garden City branch of the school.

Below is the snippet of what ensued between the Prosecution and Child X

Prosecution: “What did Mr. Adenekan do to you?”

Child X: “He put his mouth in my ‘wee-wee’. The first time he did that, he took me out of the class. The second time, I ran. I tried to report to my teacher but my teacher did not believe me, so I reported to my mummy.

“First time he did it was inside his office which was the toilet, the second time he did it was in the hall which was outside.

“I did not like what he did, he put his hand in my wee-wee; he put his wee-wee in my wee-wee and he put his mouth in my wee-wee.”

Prosecution: “When he did it, what were you wearing?”

Child X: “My Chrisland School uniform.”

Prosecution: “Can you describe how he did it to you?”

Child X: “He put his hand under my uniform; he put his hand in my wee-wee, pulled my uniform down and it was really, really paining me.

“When it was really, really paining me, I screamed and he covered my mouth like this (demonstrated with hand over her mouth).

“I couldn’t do anything because he covered my mouth. When I was trying to remove it (his hand) he tightened my mouth.”

Lately, the school is enmeshed in another sex scandal; this time not between a pupil and an older person but between a 10-year-old girl and three boys in faraway Dubai.

The pupils from the Victoria Garden City branch of the school, had embarked on a trip to Dubai to participate in the World School Games between March 10 and 13, 2022 when the incident happened.

In a viral video, the 10-year-old girl is seen riding a boy in different woman-on-top and inverted missionary sex positions.  

Following the spread of the clip on the social media, the school suspended the 10-year-old female student for what it described as “improper behaviour.”

In a suspension letter dated April 14, and signed by Mrs. G. I. Azike, and entitled ‘Indefinite suspension of …(the female student)’ the school told the parents that their ward was a “major participant” in a truth-or-dare game with other male pupils. 

The letter reads: “It was discovered that your daughter was involved in improper behaviour during the recently concluded World School Games in Dubai with a few of her counterparts wilfully participated in a game they called Truth or Dare’, a game which led her and a few other co-learners to carry out an immoral act after the lights-out instruction was given.

“In line with our core values centred on discipline, Chrisland Schools have zero tolerance for any improper behaviour and misconduct.

“A full-scale investigation has been done and the parents of all the culpable learners have been duly notified of the necessary punishment meted out on the learners.”

“However, in the course of the school’s efforts to see how best we can help…who was a major participant in the whole incident, every effort to inform you as her parents about the incident and ensure that this improper behaviour is permanently corrected, has proved to be futile.

“We cannot, as a school, condone such. Consequently, (the student) is hereby placed on an indefinite suspension until you as the parents ensure that she is punished, adequately counselled and rehabilitated.”

Girl’s mother reacts

In her reaction, the girl’s mother said she was dissatisfied with the way the school handled the matter.

In a viral video, the woman accused the school of a cover up, alleging that her daughter was gang-raped after she was forced to take a nameless substance.

She said the daughter narrated how they went out in the morning for breakfast and one of the boys, Kachi, begged her to borrow him her phone charger.

“When my daughter explained to me what happened, she said that they went out in the morning to have breakfast and one of the boys begged her to lend him her phone charger which she obliged.

After they had dinner, the boy called her room that she should come and take her charger. She went there for her charger.

“When she got into the room, one of them said she should take her charger from the toilet; it was when she entered the toilet that they told her to take a substance, so they were all under the influence. She said after that she did not know what she was doing again,” she said.

Furthermore, she said alleged that the school conducted pregnancy tests of her daughter without her consent: “My child attends Chrisland School VGC. About a month ago…I got a call from Mrs. Azike, the head teacher of Chrisland. I went two days later. When I got to the school, I met her with two women in her office.

“They said they wanted me to know that my daughter whom I left in their care on a trip to Dubai had a kiss with a boy and the boy also kissed her.

“They found out that they got the kissing idea through “Truth and Dare” and advised that I should caution my daughter and take her phone from her.

“I thought the issue wasn’t more than that; so it ended then. They said I should take it from her so they won’t keep practising that. I said I’ll do that and asked if there’s something else, and they said ‘No’. Mrs. Kemi told me not to tell my husband.

“I left but they took my daughter elsewhere to interrogate her without my consent. They’ve been threatening that if she speaks out, they are going to kill her, that it is men’s world and she shouldn’t disclose it to me.

“My daughter was dying in silence I didn’t know. They took her to go and do a pregnancy test and lied it was a COVID test, almost three times.

“They took her three times for Covid test. Do they use blood sample and urine for COVID-19 test? And I didn’t know, not until this thing came up.

“Because we have started confronting them that we are aware of what they did, the school sent her a suspension letter,” she narrated.

School denies pregnancy test claim

In a statement issued by Mr. Akin Fadeyi, a member of the school’s advisory board issued on behalf of the management yesterday (April 19), the school said it was scandalised and distressed by the issue.

He denied that a pregnancy test was conducted on female student as claimed by the mother stressing that that it was a COVID post travel test.

“We are proud to reassure our stakeholders that no rape of anyone or the administration of a pregnancy test on any child took place on our watch.

“For emphasis, only a COVID post-travel test was conducted on the returning delegation of our students, in compliance with COVID-19 travel protocols, at the Life Centre Medical Services on March 21, 2022, at School Hall, Opebi.

“This was through the nose swab test, as consistent with COVID-19 health protocols. We trust that this can be verified at the source provided. To insinuate that a pregnancy test was carried out on a student, for whatever reason, therefore, is a highly unfortunate conjecture,” he said.

He confirmed that a total of 76 students were taken to Dubai.

Of the 76 children, he said 71 “ensured an untainted adherence to the standards, abiding with laid down regulations and code of conduct”.

“Within these 71, we kept our girls on the 11th floor and Boys on the 4th floor to draw clear lines that respect moral boundaries.”

“While we understand the emotions this has generated, we assure the public that our first approach as an institution was to assume parental roles by offering support to those involved and ensuring that nothing affected their senses of esteem.

“However, after a comprehensive evaluation of the situation, we cannot help but express how scandalised and distressed we feel as mothers, fathers and instructors with a relationship that holds a direct bearing on the development of those involved.

“We were, however, compelled to engage with the parents of the remaining students who unfortunately got themselves involved in misconduct, and in accordance with our code of conduct processes, which are well known to the parents, we meted out measured reprimands to them to instill a sense of discipline and as deterrence to others. This was also to caution our students on the need to remain on the path of resisting wrong influences,” he said.

Government orders closure of school

Reacting to the sex orgy, the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, ordered the complete closure of all branches of Chrisland Schools in Lagos.

In a statement jointly signed by the ministry of education, office of education quality assurance, the ministry of youth and social development and the ministry of justice, the government announced the shutting down of the school “to reassure members of the public of the state government’s commitment to safety and child protection.”

“The attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to the alleged sexual violence case involving students of Chrisland School, which occurred in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“It is pertinent to note that all allegations are being investigated by the relevant ministries, departments and agencies, including the ministry of education, office of education quality assurance, ministry of youth and social development, ministry of justice and the Lagos State domestic and sexual violence agency, whilst the criminal allegations have been escalated to the commissioner of police.

“In the meantime, all Chrisland schools within Lagos State are hereby closed, pending further investigations,” it stated.

The statement added that the government was committed to ensuring the safety and protection of children in Lagos, especially ensuring “that all child-centred institutions within Lagos.”

The state government also warned citizens that sharing the sex video amounts to child pornography and could attract up to a 14-year jail term.

“This is especially in ensuring that all child-centred institutions within the state, formulate and implement policies and systems that are compliant with the Executive Order (NO.EO/AAO8 of 2016), Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Program.

“We also use this medium to remind the general public of the implications pertaining to engaging in any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child committing an offence.

“They are liable to a custodial sentence of fourteen (14) years. This includes producing, distributing, receiving, or possessing an image of child pornography,” it added.

Police launch investigation

The state police command said Interpol might be involved in investigating the viral sex tape

Spokesman for the command, Mr. Benjamin Hundeyin said in a statement that the commissioner of police, Mr. Abiodun Alabi, had ordered an investigation into the incident.

“The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to an alleged rape video purportedly depicting students of Chrisland School, Lagos, going viral on social media.

“The command is equally taking cognisance of the cybercrime angle to the whole episode and will not hesitate to enlist the support of the Interpol should the need arises.

“For a holistic and unbiased investigation, the command shall be working with relevant ministries, departments, agencies, and non-governmental organisations,” he said.

He quoted Alabi as saying that the investigation would identify individuals involved in the recording of the sex tape, the true incident in the video, and the geographical location of the sex acts.

“The investigation will also cover the alleged threat to life against the 10-year-old pupil and the circumstances surrounding the alleged repeated pregnancy tests conducted on the student without her parental consent.

The commissioner assured that assured that due diligence will be observed to ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice..

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