Only justice can assuage the damage done to pupils of Kuje School of the Deaf where physically challenged pupils were said to have been gang-raped after which they were forced to eat the flesh of fellow victims said to have been killed and roasted, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, has said.
Some of the boys were also sexually abused by men assailants.
The rights group has written a petition to the Nigerian Human Rights Commission, asking for thorough investigations.
Many Nigerians were outraged by savage reports linked to the Kuje School of the Deaf, where a six-year pupil, Imran, and several others were raped by some men.
Some of the pupils were also killed and made into barbecue after which their assailants compelled the pupils to feast on the human flesh, forcing many of them held by nausea to vomit.
Imran’s grandmother, Hajia Salamatu Abubakr, blew the lid off when she reported to security operatives.
There were fears that the pupils may have contacted sexually transmitted diseases, including but not limited to HIV and Hepatitis.
HEDA said in the petition addressed to the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission: “Imran and other students were repeatedly sexually defiled by unknown men in the Kuje School of the Deaf, Abuja by having sexual intercourse with them through their anus, at night in an unknown place in the school. It was stated in the report by Imran Grandmother that Imran watched the men slaughter other students, roast their flesh and after which the students are forced to eat the flesh of the slaughtered students. It was reported that Imran was severally hit on his head for vomiting after being forced to eat the roasted flesh.”
The petition was signed by HEDA’s Executive Director, Olanrewaju Suraj.
HEDA said after reporting the matter to the Deputy Head Teacher, the school made frantic efforts to treat the grievous crime as an internal affair by asking the grandma and her relations who had visited the school not to report to the police but to hand over the case to the Parents Teachers Association.
HEDA said the action of the school authority was portrayed as incapable of protecting the innocent pupils.
The Chairman of the PTA was said to have urged the parents to refer the case to the Ministry of Education.
The family had accused the Federal Ministry of Education of cold complicity.
Imran’s family later reported on Human Rights Radio broadening public interest in what many see as a bizarre act of right violations.
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons was reported to have investigated the matter and found that there is an opening behind the school, where criminals use to gain entrance into it.
Earlier reports indicated that the Executive Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency had assured that the agency would procure screening kits and the children will be screened for Hepatitis, HIV, Syphilis and other infections as well as pregnancy.
HEDA stated further that the “act of men sexually assaulting minor, disable students and slaughtering students is not just against Nigeria Criminal law, but also international laws, treaties and agreements. This action constitutes a case of ‘sexual assault of a minor, culpable homicide, homosexualism’. The group cites Section 11 of the Child Right Act 2003 protects the child’s right to dignity and Section 32 states that stipulates harsh penalties.
Quoting, in part, relevant sections of the constitution, HEDA stated: “Every child is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly, no child shall be subjected to physical, mental or emotional injury, abuse, neglect or maltreatment, including sexual abuse or subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
It also referred to Section 31 of the Child Right Act 2003, which states: “No person shall have sexual intercourse with a child. A person who contravenes the provision of Subsection (1) of this section commits an offence of rape and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life and that where a person is charged with an offence under this section, it is immaterial that.”
HEDA recalls that according to Child Right Act 2003, Section 1: “In every action concerning a child, whether undertaken by an individual, public or private body, institutions or service, court of law, or administrative or legislative authority, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration.”
HEDA said justice remains a pipe dream for victims of the crime in spite of their protests to the United Nations Organization in charge of persons with disability where Imran, the Federal Ministry of Education, in the presence of the Minister and Permanent Secretary, that had assured them investigation would commence immediately.
HEDA said the NAPTIP, where the deaf investigator also interviewed Imran and the official of the school, also confirmed that she had heard that such things were happening in the school and that she had been trying to do her own findings.
Suraj stated in the petition: “As the National Institution with statutory mandate to protect human rights of citizens and mandate to redress the violations. According to your powers and functions as enshrined in the National Human Rights Commission (Amendment) Act 2010, Section 5 state.
“The case is one deserving of immediate and urgent intervention and investigation as innocent citizens are allegedly reported to have lost their lives which is in breach of the right to life as entrenched in Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended). This intervention is with the view to averting the alleged hideous crime being committed in the school and bringing the perpetrators to justice. It has been alleged that the school and the Federal Ministry of Education have taken no step to investigate the alleged.”
Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) is a non-governmental organization and non-partisan human rights and development league.
It has the mandate to protect and promote universally recognized human rights, accountability and environmental justice in Nigeria and Africa, in accordance with international standards.