The Ministerial Report of The Federal Ministry of Education on the Sodomy case has shown us how helplesss the poor have been reduced to in Nigeria.
From onset there was deliberate delay in initiating action for almost two weeks. We were not invited to the first sitting until they were all seated in Kuje in January. That made it impossible for us and the child to attend yet The Report was distributed.
The content of my letter of complaint was deliberately distorted to make the whole issue look nonsensical. I never said that cannibalism was taking place in the school. I never said that students were fed feaces in the school.
They didn’t mention the fact that my son said penis was forced into his mouth and he was beaten for refusing to swallow semen.
We were attending investigation at The FCT Police Command each time they demanded for our presence and no responsible parent will leave The Police for a group of people that have earlier on abused our trust and respect the way the Principal deceived us from reporting to the Police from the onset and how The permanent Secretary went on air to lie that Imran spent only two weeks in the School. Imran did the whole term and we never took him home until the closing day.
In their desperation to distort facts and crush me into pulp for daring to speak out on the abuse on my child.
From all indications, The Honorable Minister has always been misinfor\n￼med by some people working under him.
The letter of invitation to the special investigation committee sent by Barr Erameh reached me 30mins to my appointment at the Police Command on the 22 February 2019. I replied Barr Erameh and DHL the reply explaining to him my child has gone through too much and has now began his rehabilitation And we have been advised not to expose to all the trauma again. I pleaded that whatever they need the police have got. They should please liaise with the police after all they are all working for the federal government of Nigeria.
Even we the parent have gone through alot and need to be composed for his rehabilitation .
Unfortunately they are trying to reduce the matter In to a monetary issue by concocting a baseless tale of me obtaining The PTA letter headed paper under false pretense.
This grand deception began the day we went to report to the Principal.
The Principal thanked us for going to him and promised to investigate as soon as School resumes in January. He advised us not to go to The Police.
He pointed to a picture of a man on the wall and said that the man was the former Principal who was killed by mob action by the deaf students and his car and office destroyed for inviting the the Police in a matter that involved the students.
He said that he has just 1 yr to his retirement and we felt scared for him and believing that he understood deaf psychology and knew best how to manage them.
I said that we need to organise an urgent health intervention that will consist of an awareness program and rehabilitation for the schoolbpupils. He pleaded that whatever we want to do we should do through the PTA. He then gave us the PTA. Chairman’s phone number. I contacted the PTA chairman who was worried and met us the following day at the Family Medicine Dept of the National Hospital where imran was reviewed by the Doctors.
He was concerned and lamented how his daughter a pry 5 student of the school has been very sick in and out of hospital sometimes staying almost a month.He said she had an endstage Kidney problem which is as a result of the deplorable situation of the toilet facilities in the school.
I was also concerned for him,then i told him we have to do something.
I was worried about the health of these children and the long term complications.
I suggested we need to contact different agencies to help these children in the school like The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency NPHCDA etc. I told him all these children need to be screened for STIs,pregnancy etc He said it was a very good idea. So I asked him we need to contact them immediately before the Christmas break so that they are informed and carry out their interventions when the children fully resume school by 2nd week 0f January 2019.I then contacted the Executive Director of NPHCDA and he immediately scheduled for is to meet with him. I informed the PTA Chairman who said he was very busy at work and will be traveling.
He then contacted the Secretary who had the the PTA letterheaded papers at the School and said someone should bring it down town. He pleaded we should write the letters and send to many the agencies to come to aid of the children because there was electricity issues etc as he will be traveling for the Christmas. Mrs Zainab Mustapha a teacher at the GSS Kuje who I had met at the 1st and only PTA meeting I attended at the end of the term at the school she cried when we met and I narrated everything. She joined us as we went to the school to report to the Principal at the school and promised to assist in any way.I informed her the PTA chairman said we should pick up the PTA papers at the school before coming into town for the meeting at the NPHCDA. I informed the PTA chairman about the scheduled meeting at the NPHCDA but he said he was very busy and will be traveling. So he promised to inform some other PTA executives who could come with us to the meeting. At the end none of the PTA Officials was able to come as he said they were all traveling for Christmas. Myself and the 2 other concerned parents Mrs Zainab Mustapha and Barr Muazu whose children are day students in the school met at the NPHCDA for the meeting.
Mrs Zainab told me how the Principal warned that we should be careful,that we are listening to the tales of a 6yr old child and we should be careful as he handed her the papers that many parents have tried this and have put themselves in trouble. I was surprised that the Elderly man who addressed us warmly earlier was now using a threatening tone. The three of us attended the meeting at the NPHCDA, Pharm Bello and another Colleague conveyed the promise from the ED NPHCDA that they will provide screening kits for HIV, Hepatitis B&C, Syphilis ( VDRL),pregnancy test kits and Hepatitis B vaccination for the children. I pleaded for manpower (healthcare workers for the screening process) intervention program.
Pharm. Bello promised that could also be organized to help these special children. He asked us to provide them with the population of the school children which I conveyed all these information to the PTA chairman who after some days was able to provide and I sent the reply. The 2 other concerned parents and myself upon leaving the NPHCDA went to a cafe and I asked for Barr Muazu to please help to modify the letters which will be sent to other agencies because I was more inclined with the health aspect. He made corrections and we printed those for NDLEA, Legal Aid Council,NAPTIP, NHRC, Nigerian Urban Health Initiative, Songhai HMO, Healthcare Security Ltd, DEPOWA, NAOWA, UBEB, FOMWAN,Office of the FirstLady (Future Assured), etc. We shared the letters for ease of delivery. I gave Barr MUazu those for DEPOWA,NAOWA,UBEB. I gave the PTA chairman the acknowledged copies.
I never went back for any monetary transaction with any agency. I felt we had helped the PTA chairman and the PTA will continue from there. A lady at NHRC after calling in response to the letter I told her the PTA chairman had travelled and I assured her we will be going with the PTA chairman when he returns. I told her my son was a student and was assaulted. She advised when such happens, the parent should complain to the NHRC because going through the PTA will not yield results because when the chips are down people will disappoint you. I told her it was a recommendation by the principal. I thanked her for the advice and after my return to Abuja went to submit my personal complaint letter.
The PTA chairman once called me that he was under heat with the school management over the letters. He then contacted me that the DG Legal Aid wanted to see me. I saw the DG Legal Aid the next day and he told me that the PTA chairman had denied knowledge of all those letters that i impersonated him. I told him it was a lie that he asked us to write the letters seeking for help. I am not a PTA Executive I cant do that without his permission.
After I explained everything he asked me to go to narrate everything to the female lawyer and I wrote my statement there. During our interview with the legal Aid Lawyer and Imran, the PTA chairman kept calling me to come to the school to bring my son for check up and to attend the PTA meeting at the School. The lawyer advised I shouldn’t go and if I must I should be accompanied with a law enforcement officer. I never went because I understood they had plans for me. With the story of the former principal killed by mob action I was cautious.
Am surprised that such an important issue is trivialised into a monetary issue. This is an issue of sexual molestation and torture of a vulnerable child and possibly other children. It’s an emergency, it’s a matter of the health and wellbeing of our children. Imran has been cheated for life. With all the risks his life has been exposed to. He has been denied the opportunity of receiving a Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine which I was planning to give him at the age of 9 or 10yrs.
And Imran is still living with the pains from all the torture.
The Ministerial report only mentioned the Police Confessional Report, there is a Police Medical Report which was read out to us all at the FCT Police Command with the Diagnosis of Sexual defilement and assault to his body.
There is also a police confession video which was filmed with us all in the Deputy Comissioner’s office when the school father confessed to sodomising Imran only once. Imran seeing the schoolfather confess that he only sodomised him once jumped from his chair went in front of the Deputy Commissioner and gestured it was a lie and counted the sodomy episodes to be above ten times, he gestured in sign language how the schoolfather had been forcing his penis into Imran’s mouth and throat which made him vomit semen,and he hit his head repeatedly, how he burnt his abdomen with fire, hit nail into his head above his right eyebrow, removed his middle fingernail etc.All these were not mentioned.
We applied for these documents but we were told even we won’t be given these documents except a Police report. But whosoever needs to see them can see the Police Commissioner for it although we would have wished to have a copy of the medical report for keep.
We have made efforts to learn sign language and we use that to complement our communication with Imran, it may not be 100% proficient but we were able to understand Imran when he confided in us.
However, despite all these hurt felt by my family and the Honourable Minister, I thank Him for adopting the suggestions I included in my personal letter of complaint I suggested Inclusive Education as a long term and sustainable solution against such social vices . The policy of enabling schools to make adjustments for children living with disabilities is a way of socially including our children to learn alongside their peers in their neighbourhoods. Parents also going to learn sign language is a big plus to social inclusion in the home and society. Looking at the bigger picture Imran has sacrificed for the betterment of all children living with disabilities in Nigeria.
The adoption of my recommendation is a sustainable way to their Psychological and Socioeconomic development as they learn real life social skills, form long endearing friendships with their “normal” peers, grow with good self esteem understanding it’s not about your physical ability or societal labels but by your intellectual ability and such social vices are checked as children go back at night under their parents supervision. We pray the implementation commences soonest as Public and Private schools take the initiative so that children like Imran can benefit. Because right now he is out of school and is feeling it badly.
Dr Hannatu Ayuba Usman.
30th March 2019.
See copy of letter of complaint below: