By Uwakmfon Dan
A female teacher of Kings and Queens Montessori School, Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo, One Miss Onyinye is currently cooling her legs at the State Police Headquarters in Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo, for allegedly abusing a two year old pupil of the school (name withheld).
TheMail reporter gathered over the weekend, that Miss Onyinye was picked up by men of the Nigeria Police Force on March 3rd, 2021 at the school premises, following a formal complaint by the father of the pupil, Mr Hanson Ifiok.
Already, a medical report has confirmed bruises and tears on the victim’s private part, a development that the teacher has denied having a hand in.
A visibly gloomy Mr. Ifiok while narrating the sad incident, told TheMail Newspaper that he found her daughter in a distressed state, when he had gone to pick her up from school on Friday, February 26, 2021.
“I traveled to Lagos and came back on the last Friday of February. I think that was 26th and I went to pick her (my daughter) up from school. When I got to her school, I noticed she wasn’t her usual self. She was looking distressed, sweaty and disoriented. It was even one of her friends that told her ‘look, your Daddy is around’.
He said after several enquiries, her daughter disclosed that the said teacher had inserted her finger into her private part.
“I thought that normally, she had played and was probably tired. Normally, when she gets home, she takes her bath. So I took her to the Grandmother’s place that afternoon. I bathed her. She didn’t allow anybody to touch her. After everything, we finally succeeded in washing her up. The mum now asked ‘what is it’, and she said her teacher put her hands inside her ‘bombom’. The mum was like ‘are you sure?’ and the girl replied ‘she put hand inside my ‘bombom’
“We didn’t think much about it. But later, when we got home that night, my wife asked her (my daughter) again and she still said the same thing. My wife sent a message to the teacher (on WhatsApp) asking what happened to our daughter. The teacher said nothing, apart from the fact that the child had runny nose. So my wife told her what my daughter said and the teacher told my wife to be careful with what my daughter said”, he said.
Ifiok said he had subjected his daughter to medical examination at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, where it was confirmed by the Pediatrician, that she had sustained bruises on her genital.
“The next day (Saturday, 27th February) when I got home, my wife said “I’ve been asking this girl and she says the same thing, let’s go and verify’. So we went to teaching hospital, met with the Pediatrician and after some checks, we discovered she had some bruises and a little tear. The Pediatrician said we need to see the Gynecologist, who wasn’t around that Saturday. So we waited till Monday (1st March, 2021).
“On Monday, I took my daughter to the hospital again. When the Gynecologist wanted to check her, she refused. The Gynecologist said those were signs that my daughter was traumatized and asked us to return later. We went back that same day to his private clinic. This was around 4pm. It took three people to pin my daughter down, because she was crying due to the pains. That’s when the Gynecologist confirmed she had bruises on the private part. He asked me if I was sure it was not a man (that abused my daughter), that the injuries were consistent, as if done by a man”, Mr. Ifiok disclosed.
He claimed that the accused staff was subsequently arrested by officers from the ‘B’ Division, Ewet Housing and later transferred to the State Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia, through the assistance of the Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA) who he noted were involved in the case.
“The Gynecologist wrote his report and told me it’s a criminal case, that he can’t give it to me, unless I go through the normal process. He asked if I’ve reported to the Police, that he could only handover the report to the Police. That was when I reported to the police. I reported to the ‘B’ Division. FIDA got to know about it. They were the ones who got the case transferred to Ikot Akpan Abia. But please note that even after I’d reported to the school (verbally), the management still allowed the teacher into the school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It was on Wednesday the police picked her up.
“She’s at the police station now but she’s still denying. Meanwhile, on Friday, I formally dropped a letter to the school. I went there the first time, they said I didn’t write well. I went the second time, they pointed out another correction. I went back the third time, I didn’t see the Principal. So I went to the Director’s office and saw a lady there. So I dropped the letter”, he said.
When quizzed, the Proprietor of the School, Mrs. Ekaette Okon, confirmed that one of her female teachers had been invited by the police for questioning, over allegations bordering on child abuse.
She said the institution was yet to receive any formal complaint from the parent of the pupil, but however added that she was in the know of the allegation through the grandparent of the pupil.
“I have a Principal working for me, but I cannot run from Kings and Queens because I have my name attached to it. I can’t deny the fact that my teacher was invited by the police for questioning. It’s a female teacher. The basic issue is that I was told by the Grandparent of the pupil. I wonder why the alleged parent did not report to the school for one week. When I had time to hear from the grandparent, I went to the school to do investigation and the parent told me that the matter is beyond the school, that they’ve taken it to the police. I said they would have invited the matter to the school first and allowed us to do private investigations first. And if that thing happened on Friday as he said, he never reported to the school until Wednesday. He came around on Wednesday and that was because I called him (the father of the pupil).
“When he came he said it’s a police matter, that he doesn’t want the school to be involved in it. So, that’s where I left and said since the case is with the police, let the police carry on with the investigation. I don’t know the word he used, whether it’s ‘rape’, ‘molestation’ or ‘abuse’. That needs to be established by the law”, she revealed.
Mrs Okon further described the allegation as an attempt to tarnish the image of her
“We’ve had a track record in Kings and Queens. We’ve produced men and women of integrity in this state. Majority are working now in the government, majority are professors, and lawyers. We have never heard of such a thing in Kings and Queens. Nobody is hoarding information, that’s why I said that he has not formally informed the school. I expected the police to invite the Principal or the owner of the school for questioning but up till this moment, nobody has been invited.
“I overheard that the police had done some tests and will do further tests, that there are certain funny results which the police said they’ve found, that they are trying to look inward to the family and not to the school. I think it’s just a calculated attempt to destroy the image of the school. We’ll know how to pursue this after the truth is unravelled.
Reacting, the Chairman of human rights group ,Tasieobi Global Foundation, Amb. Elvis Tasieobi, frowned at the development and said his organisation was already teaming up with the Coalition Against Rape and Gender Based Violence to bring those behind what he described as distasteful act, to book.
When contacted on phone, Police Public Relations Officer, SP Odiko Macdon said he was yet to be on the matter.
“I’m yet to be briefed on the matter, so I don’t have that information about that right now. However, investigations will commence and as soon as I have the information, I’ll let you know”, he said.
Efforts to reach the Chairman of the Federation of Female Lawyers, Akwa Ibom State, Barr. Emem Ette, proved abortive, as her phone lines were not reachable as at the time of filing this report.