Keren: Judge’s absence stalls hearing in N10bn suit against Premiere Academy over rape, death of student


Definite hearing in the case brought by Mrs Vivien Vihimga Akpagher against Premiere Academy, Lugbe, for its alleged failure of a duty of care to her 14 year old daughter, Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher which led to her alleged rape and eventual death was stalled at an Abuja High Court.

Keren died on June 22, 2021, after she contracted sepsis caused by condom left inside her vagina by the killer-rapist, which spiked her blood sugar, leading to hyperglycemia

Vexed by this development and the lack of remorse and empathy displayed by Premiere Academy, Keren’s mother, Mrs Akpagher, filed a – 10 billion naira suit against the school at the Abuja High Court.

In its response, Premiere Academy filed a preliminary objection, asking the court to strike out her suit on technical ground based on error in the spelling of its name.

However, Jstice Chinyere Elewe Nwecheonwu refused Premiere Academy’s request to terminate the suit on mere technicality. She accordingly consented to the application of the plaintiff/ applicant’s counsel, Barrister Chioma Onyenucheya-Uko, for amendment of the misnomer in the spelling of the defendant’s name.

But when the matter came up today for hearing, the court official informed lawyers and litigants that the matter would not go on because the trial judge was away attending judges’ conference.

The official, who did not disclose his name, said that when the judge resumes next Monday, a new date for hearing will be communicated to the parties.

Speaking on why she filed the suit against the school, where her daughter was a boarding student until her death, Mrs Akpagher said she expected “a school that is apologetic and takes responsibility for the rape and death of my child”, stating that if they were honourable enough to do so, she would drop the matter.“

But the way they are going, if they are not ready to take responsibility, we shall see this case to the end so that it doesn’t happen to another child,” she stated.

In the instant suit, she has also prayed the court for “an order restraining the defendants by themselves, their agents and privies from threatening the plaintiff and her allies in respect of this suit, during and after the trial.”

The plaintiff is praying the court for the following reliefs:

* A declaration that the negligence of the defendants caused the plaintiff’s daughter’s Keren –Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher death on the 22nd day of June 2021

* A declaration that the acts of the defendants, who owed the duty of care to plaintiff’s daughter, were negligent and this led to her death as a result of rape, sexual abuse and molestation which happened under their care. S

he therefore prayed the court to award to her the sum of N10 billion damages against the defendants for the breach of duty of care and negligence, which led to the death of Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher.

She prayed the court for another N10million for emotional, mental, psychological and physical stress on the plaintiff, caused by the painful death of her daughter at the hands of the defendants who owed her duty of care.

She said despite her demand that the police retrieve CCTV footages of 15th and 16th of June 2021, which she knows discloses how her daughter was sexually abused and the identity of her abuser, the defendants have chosen to obstruct justice by concealing or deleting the said footages.U

Barrister Uzoma Anaeto and Barrister Chioma Onyenucheya -Uko are counsel for the plaintiff (Mrs Akpagher), while Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) with whom are his wife, Chief Mrs Victoria Awomolo (SAN) and Eyitayo Fatogun (SAN) and other junior counsel lead the defence of Premiere Academy.

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