My teacher s3xually assaulted me several times when I was seven years old – JSS 2 student tells Lagos court


An account was presented in an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court by Ngozi Igwe, a JSS 2 student, detailing how a teacher allegedly sexually assaulted her in the classroom.

Led in her testimony by Lagos State counsel, Ms. Bukola Okeowo, the alleged survivor recounted that the incident occurred when she was seven years old, with the defendant serving as her teacher during her Primary Three education.

The minor explained that the defendant, on multiple occasions, summoned her to his desk and sexually assaulted her by inserting his finger into her genital area. According to her, the defendant’s desk was positioned at the back of the classroom, while the students’ desks faced the blackboard.

She disclosed, “He always called me to his table, put his hands under my dress, and inserted his finger in my vagina. I cannot recall the exact number of times, but I know he did that to me several times. When I confided in my mother, she took me to a police station and a medical examination was conducted on me. The doctor did not discuss the results with me, but he informed my mother.”

During cross-examination by the defense counsel, Mr. Onome Akpeneye, the alleged survivor mentioned that she did not cry out when the defendant allegedly assaulted her. She further noted that there was no clear separation in the classroom, as students sat in the front, while the defendant occupied the rear.

At an earlier stage, the defense counsel had requested that the student attend court for cross-examination, expressing the difficulty of assessing her demeanor virtually. He proposed, “My lord, considering the witness’s demeanor, I cannot cross-examine her virtually. I humbly request that the witness be physically present in court. Since the witness is on holiday, she can come to court tomorrow. I also want the court to bear in mind that I am handling this case pro bono.”

In response, the prosecution counsel, Okeowo, urged the court to instruct the defense counsel to conduct the cross-examination virtually. She explained, “My lord, we cannot guarantee her presence as she was traumatized. During the pre-trial, she cried uncontrollably. Furthermore, on the last adjourned date, we informed the court that the second prosecution witness would testify virtually, to which the defense counsel did not object.”

Justice Rahman Oshodi ruled against the defense counsel’s submission, citing that the Child Rights Act allows for children to provide evidence in a closed-door setting. The court adjourned the case until December 14 for the continuation of the trial.

The defendant faces a single charge of sexual assault by penetration, a violation of Section 261 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, to which he pleaded not guilty during arraignment.

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