… say failure to enforce resolution for public hearing after 84 days was disturbing

An anti- Sexual and Gender Based Violence coalition of Civil Society organisations and mother of 14 year old boarding student of Premiere Academy Lugbe, Abuja Keren-Happuch Aondoodo Akpagher, Mrs. Vivien Vihimga Akpagher have expressed concerns over the inaction and reluctance of the House of Representatives to commence investigative public hearing into the circumstances, which led to the rape and eventual death of the minor.
According to medical reports, Keren-Happuch died after she was raped, a condom left inside of her by a rapist infected her with sepsis, compromised her immunity being a diabetic, spiked her blood sugar, leading to her tragic end.  
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, leader of the Coalition of Gender Based Violence Responders, Lemmy Ughegbe and mother of Keren-Happuch, Mrs Akpagher said it was a matter of grave concern for the House of Representatives to be lukewarm and reluctant in enforcing their resolution to commence a public probe of the school almost three months after it had passed a resolution to do so upon a motion brought by Hon. Mark Gbilah.
“Members of the House of Representatives are called honourables, that means they are people who honour their words, pronouncements and resolutions. It is therefore disturbing that after 84 days of honourables members resolving to commence public hearing into the rape and death of Keren-Happuch, the green chamber has still not honoured this. This is not good for the image of the speaker and indeed the members of the house because the signal that will send to the Nigerian populace is that they do not place any premium on the life of Keren-Happuch or even m on their words”, Ughegbe noted.
He said he was concerned about the wrong signal the reluctance of the lawmakers to commence public hearing is sending to the Nigerian public because he knows that the speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is committed to the protection of the Nigerian child and women and has continually supported efforts to create safe spaces for children.
“We are therefore urging the speaker and his colleagues to expedite action on  this investigative public hearing as it will mark a turning point for the Nigeria child and his/her safety while seeking education in schools anywhere in the country.”
   On what specific strep the coalition will take if the House failed to notify the Coalition before Monday next week on when the public hearing would commence,  he said the will explore civil and legal remedies.
“By next Tuesday, 8th day of March 2022, we shall storm the National Assembly and demand that the speaker and his colleagues give us a date for the commencement of public hearing. But if  they still fail to act, we will have no option than to go to Court to seek for an order of mandamus compelling the House to enforce his resolution made on 7th of December 2022 to commence investigative the public hearing of the role of the school in the rape and death of Keren-Happuch.”
In her own remark, Keren’s mother, Mrs Akpagher noted that in order to safe other children from suffering the fate of Keren, it was necessary for the public hearing to commence so as to expose many facts that have been subdued.
“My daughter, Keren, is gone and gone forever. Nothing can bring her back. Nothing whatsoever. But if her death is not to be in vain, then we must uncover and expose the truth so that she saves other children. For instance, the CCTV footages of 15th and 16th of June, 2021 which we demanded for and asked the police to demand for from the school has the capacity to tell us exactly what happened to Keren , where and how. The Police asked the school to produce thoses footages, but the school has not provided it till now. These cover-ups cannot succeed and that’s why the public hearing is necessary.”, she stated.
She said she was working closely with the coalition to take some very crucial steps, which will be made known soon.

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