*Says Its Too Much to Take
Ade-Ade Bosun, Abuja
Mother of Karen Happuch Akpagher, the 14 year-old boarding student of Premiere Academy, who died following an alleged rape, Mrs Vivien Akpagher, has described the effect of her daughter’s demise as a trauma she finds too much to handle.
Mrs Akpagher, who made the disclosure on Wednesday while briefing newsmen at the secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, disclosed that her heart is in a turmoil. Mrs Akpagher who described her daughter a cup filled up by God for her, said the school has not only taken the cup but also shattered it.
“I named my daughter Keren-Happuch, which means, God has filled my cup. But Premiere Academy, Lugbe, took the cup, emptied the water and broke the cup. The cup I gave to Premiere Academy full, they returned to me empty and broken. This is too much to take. My heart is in turmoil,” she said Amidst tears.
Mrs Akpagher said she was compelled to speak with newsmen following the manner Premiere Academy has consistently deployed the media to in a deliberate attempt to distort facts concerning the case without any regard to the life of the young girl that has been cut short.
“Gentlemen of the press, you would have noticed that since my daughter died, instead of the management of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, to allow my family to grieve and mourn her, has been preoccupied with wanting to look good to the public rather than work to bring out the rapist,” she said.
According to her, Premiere Academy has, with its media blitz, been more concerned with painting the young girl bad releasing countless dirty stories in the process. That, she added, is an indication that the school chose business interests over and above the life of her daughter.
“Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja has put the business interest of the school above the life of my 14 year old girl. They have even tried to tarnish her image with ugly stories. Premiere Academy, Lugbe, has been embarking on major publicity stunts. Five press conferences and countless press releases are all pointers to the desperation of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja. But interestingly, the more Premiere Academy, Lugbe, embarks on this publicity frolic, the more it committed unforced errors.
Kindly take note that while Premiere Academy, Lugbe continued on his publicity stunts to look good, my family and I had been silent. But today, for the first time, we have chosen to speak in order to put the incontrovertible facts out to the general public.”
Mrs Akpagher noted that in choosing to speak with the Press, her major concern is to represent facts of the case to the public concerning how Karen, a boarding student of Premiere Academy died on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. Her daughter, she disclosed, called to inform her on Friday, June 18, to inform of an eye infection. She went on to request that she should come and pick her from the school by 5pm same day.
Mrs Akpagher disclosed that a teacher, whose phone her daughter used in making the call, advised her to come pick her the next, a Saturday, being a call day, in order to avoid landing her, the teacher, in trouble since her phone was used.
However, before even going to the school on the said Saturday, her daughter called again begging that she come quickly to pick her up as she was ill. But aware that she needed to ease the girl’s process of leaving the school premises, Mrs Akpagher said she approached the matron for an exeat. But the matron allegedly told her that if given, the young girl would have be isolated for seven days upon her return. She went on to suggest an alternative, which involves having the school to drive her to the clinic and taking her back to school immediately after treatment.
“After her treatment, Keren was distraught when she learnt that she was going back to school and begged to go home with me. I promised her I will secure an exeat from the school and pick her. I called the principal, who agreed to give her one.”
Sadly, the school refused to grant the exeat when she got there as earlier scheduled. To assuage her concerns, the matron reportedly assured her that the school was taking good care of her daughter and that she was fine. Thereupon, she decided to return home. But while heading home, she got a call from a concerned staff who informed her that her daughter was sick and in distress. The caller also went ahead to give her hints on how to easily secure her daughter’s immediate release. For whatever reasons however, the school refused to issue an early exeat. By the time it did, the young was said to be in serious distress.
“Following assurances by the matron, I left without my daughter. However, while heading back home on the said 19th day of June, I received a call from a concerned staff of the school, telling me that my daughter was badly sick and seriously distressed in school on Wednesday, the 16th day of June 2021 with inability to walk without assistance of some of her friends, who helped her to class to write a continuous assessment test in tears.
“The caller told me to disregard claims by the matron that my daughter was not sick, insisting that she was in dire straits and needed to be taken away from school immediately. The caller advised me to come to the gate and make a lot of noise to constitute a nuisance. Otherwise, I would not be allowed to take my daughter away.”
Mrs Akpagher succeeded in securing an exeat and subsequently took her daughter to a private hospital. But three way from the school days later, the young girl died in circumstances initial autopsy adduced to sepsis.
Officials of he school have already been invited by the police for questioning. No report is out yet on what the police have unearthed in their investigation. However, 2n-network.com sent messages to the school via email and its social media handles. In an auto generated response, the school thanked the medium for contacting it without addressing questions asked.
At the moment, Mrs Akpagher is calling for help. For a start, she wants the federal government to help her resolve the puzzle surrounding her daughter’s death.