Keren: Amnesty International, others demand justice for late raped victim


By Friday Obande

A joint coalition of Amnesty International, Men Against Rape Foundation and Family of late Student of Premier Academy School In Abuja, have asked the government and all the relevant agencies to ensure that service is served.

The call for justice by the groups was contained in a press conference held at the Nigerian Union of Journalist, NUJ, headquarters in the FCT, the organisation kicked against the delay in the prosecution and final verdict of the late teenage and called for immediate intervention.

Speaking, Executive Director, Men Against Rape Foundation, MARF, Lemmy Ughegbe said the House of Representatives resolved and ordered the police to thoroughly investigate Keren’s death and alleged harassment and threat to the lives of her family, Lemmy Ughegbe and other concerned parties.

“Nigeria has an obligation to ensure that women and girls can live free from violence. Having ratified the convention on the ‘Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Nigeria is obliged to act with due diligence to prevent, investigate, punish and provide remedies for acts of violence against women and girls,”the coalition insisted.

Also, a campaigner of Amnesty International, Esther Ikubaje, while corroborating her point with other members of the team, noted that a year on has been a long delay in justice, as she emphasised that Keren’s case has gone viral, as all the petitions pertaining to her demise have been coalated and sent to the relevant authorities across different countries around the world.

“We are not going to keep silent over Keren’s case and we’ll continue to take actions on this and other similar cases,” she said.

According to his statement, “being a state party to the ‘Protocol of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on Womens’ right in the continent, Nigeria needs to implement appropriate measures to ensure that women and girls are protected from all forms of violence under section 34 of the 1999 constitution which states, “No person shall be subjected to turture or to inhuman or degrading treatment.’

Further responding to questions from newsmen on the same matter, Mr. Ughegbe informed about how some media houses such as the AIT and several others have been martyred via civil suits filed against them and the organisations
He however informed that June 30, 2022 had been fixed for the hearing of the filed case at the High Court in Kuje Area Council in Abuja.

He also urged the public to support the call on those responsible for the dastardly act to account for their deeds.

According to the coalition, the Women Affairs Ministry, and Ministry of Federal Capital Territory have since kept deaf ears over the ongoing, as the late Keen was not a child of an elite.
Salient questions were asked such as; that of the school’s refusal to provide CCTV footages of June 15, 16 and 19 2021, police refusal to give official copies of autopsy to her parents, why Premiere Academy School refused to cooperate with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection commission, FCCPC, which is an investigator of Keren’s case.

Other questions raised included; why Ministry of Women Affairs and Education have not lived up to their responsibilities.

In his closing remarks, Amnesty Unteenational Programmes Manager, Seun Bakare, advocated for immediate intervention by holding the law enforcement agencies accountable to do the needful, adding that “We will never keep shut till justice is served to the family of the deceased and other victims.

The joint coalition further called for an immediate, impartial effective and independent investigation to be initiated to the cause of her death, by bringing perpetrators of the act to book, demanded the guarantee of adequate protection for Keren’s mother, Vivien Akpagher, her family; Lemmy Ughegbe, as well as other human rights defenders of the case and effective remedies such as reparations and guarantees of non-repetition of such atrocious acts.