January 19, 2021

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The parents of the 11-year-old boy alleged to have been sexually abused by some senior students of the Deeper Life High School in Akwa Ibom State have demanded N100 Million as compensation from the school.

Iniobong Archibong and his wife, Deborah, in a letter from their lawyer to the Deeper Life High School, said the victim, a JSS1 student, went through “physical and inhuman torture of debilitating dimension with resultant castration of his human person, dignity and childhood innocence” while he was at the school’s dormitory.

The parents said the ‘compensation’ money should be paid within 21 days, in addition to a letter of apology from the school published in some national dailies.

This is a sudden turn of event, considering that parties to the case were said to have agreed that the victim should be taken to a sexual assault centre in the state for examination, according to a statement from the Akwa Ibom State government.

The Akwa Ibom government on Wednesday announced that it was discontinuing its investigation into the case, so the police could handle it.

It is yet to be established medically that the victim was sexually abused as alleged by his parents.

A medical report issued by St. Athanasius Hospital, a private hospital where the victim was taken to by the parents, did not state if he was abused or not.

“In physical examination, you need to watch which area was molested and this one they are thinking of the anus, which that report has shown that there was no injury seen,” Emmanuel Akpanobong, the medical director, St. Athanasius Hospital, told PREMIUM TIMES, Wednesday morning, when asked why the report did not state clearly if the boy was sexually abused or not.

Mr Akpanobong, a medical doctor, said tests were done to ascertain if the boy had any infection.

Outside of that, he said the doctors were not “magician” to verify what happened to the boy while he was at the dormitory. “We rely on the physical findings which is what we reported there,” he added.

“In fact, if a girl is molested, especially a virgin, you need to look for the evidence of recent issues, you look for the damage to the hymen which, even in most cases, if a rape or whatever had taken place and the person has had bath, has done normal things thereafter, the evidence maybe obscured.

“(It is) the same thing here. In fact, one would have expected that if the molestation was done that very day and maybe there is evidence of contamination – smearing with semen and all that. But these were not available at the time of seeing the child,” Mr Akpanobong said.

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The victim’s mother, Deborah, said some senior students of the Deeper Life High School sexually abused her son when the school authorities switched him from his dormitory to another dormitory filled with senior students.

“They will remove his boxer and push their legs and hands into his anus,” Deborah said in a video which has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter.

“Look at a child I sent to school, he came back with a broken anus,” she added.

She said her son was frequently starved and beaten up by the senior students.

The authorities of Deeper Life High School suspended the principal of the Uyo campus, Ndidi Solomon, when they announced an investigation into the case.

“We will like to state that Deeper Life High School stands on the core values of integrity and uprightness and will not attempt to cover up any immoral act under any guise,” Thelma Malaka, the school’s education secretary, said last week.

“We have unflinching confidence in our God to resolve the issue such that at the end the truth will ultimately prevail,” Mrs Malaka said.

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