Samson Folarin and Oluwatobi Akindele
The Lagos State Police Command has commenced investigation into the alleged molestation of a four-year-old pupil of the University of Lagos Women Society Nursery and Primary School, Akoka, Lagos.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the victim was allegedly molested on the school premises by a driver identified as Abiodun Matthew.
Matthew, it was gathered, usually pick two other pupils at the school after closing hours on the instruction of their parents.
The driver, in the course of time, was said to have become close to a teacher at the school, identified as Charity Madumere.
Madumere reportedly sometimes left the pupils in the care of the driver.
During the period, the driver was alleged to have molested the kindergarten pupil.
The victim’s father, Ade, who is a lecturer at UNILAG, said he had noticed the closeness of the driver to the teacher and complained to the school authorities.
He claimed that his warning was ignored until his daughter became a victim.
Ade said, “Obviously, this guy had been hanging out in the class for a long time, but I noticed recently and I felt that it was dangerous. I complained through the communications book, which serves as a link between the parents and the school. I expressed concern about having a man in the midst of innocent children.
“The class teacher, after being spoken to by her supervisor, told the man to stay away. But after the heat had gone down, the man resumed sitting with the children. At times, I met him alone with the pupils in the class where they were kept before pick-up by their parents or guardians.”
Ade explained that his fear became real when his daughter complained of difficulty passing urine, adding that when he prodded her, she did not say anything.
He added that the victim later confessed to her elder sister, who then informed him.
Ade stated, “On Sunday, March 24, 2019, she told her elder sister, who is six-year-old, that she experienced pain when she urinated. The sister told me and I asked her if anybody had touched her in her private parts, but she did not tell me anything.
“She confided in the sister that it was one uncle Biodun, who had been touching her. We were just settling down for breakfast when I heard it. Immediately, I lost my appetite. Blood rushed to my brain. I knelt down and prayed to God to help me control my anger, so that I would not do anything untoward.
“I called the head teacher and she said I should see her on Monday. I took my daughter to the UNILAG medical centre for tests and I was told that the hymen was gone and there were abrasions and lacerations in her private parts.
“Last Friday, we went to the Mirabel Centre, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, for thorough tests and the revelations were more damning. He was not only using his penis, he had been using sticks and biros. Gas was oozing out of my daughter’s private parts when a doctor examined her.”
PUNCH Metro was told that Matthew, the class teacher, the assistant class teacher and the supervisor were arrested and detained at the Sabo Police Station.
However, a few days after, they were reportedly released on bail.
Ade alleged that the school was trying to cover up the case in order to protect its image.
He added, “After the incident, the board of the school, led by the President, came to my office to commiserate with me and announce that the services of the class teacher were no longer needed, only for me to see her in class on Monday.
“These are people who are supposed to be protecting children. It has happened to my child today, who knows whose child it will be tomorrow. And it has not even been established that my daughter was the only one molested by the man, because since the beginning of the session, he had been in constant contact with the children.”
PUNCH Metro gathered that the suspects were re-arrested on the directive of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Mu’azu.
When one of our correspondents visited the school, she was told that the ULWS school was on break due to the ongoing convocation of the University of Lagos.
The school’s head teacher, Mrs Abimbola Afolabi, declined to comment on the matter when contacted on the telephone.
“I don’t know anything about it. Thank you,” she said.
Subsequent calls to her telephone line were declined
The Head of Communications Unit, UNILAG, Mrs Taiwo Oloyede, requested a text message to enable her to respond to the allegations.
Messages sent to her line were not replied to as of the time of filing this story, just as she declined further calls.
The President of the ULWS school, Mrs Seun Ogundipe, who is the wife of the university’s Vice-Chancellor, also asked one of our correspondents to send a text message, a request that was obliged.
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However, she had yet to respond to the message as of press time.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, said the CP had directed that the case be transferred to the Gender Unit of the command for further investigation.
“Four suspects were arrested in connection with the case. They are Abiodun Matthew, Charity Madumere, Olubukunola Oyinlola and Esther Olawale. The suspects are in custody and the CP has directed the gender unit to take over the investigation,” he stated.