Audio recordings and testimonies from eyewitnesses have corroborated allegations of child molestation against the management of His Grace School, Ilorin.
Vincent Fadunmade, a parent of an eight-year-old pupil in the school, had accused one of the school’s teachers of attempting to take carnal knowledge of his daughter on February 27, 2020.
Fadunmade reported the sexual molestation to the Kwara State Police Command in late February and the Police subsequently filed a suit for sexual molestation against the suspect, Akorede Ahmed, before the Family Court in Ilorin, on March 2, 2020.
However, FIJ learnt that the case was adjourned up to 10 times due to COVID-19 pandemic and the recent strike by judiciary workers in the country. Eventually, the panel hearing all cases at the Family Court was dissolved.
While the case is out of court, FIJ independently obtained audio recordings that corroborate the allegation of attempted sexual molestation against the teacher. In one of the recordings, Joshua Adekanye, the proprietor of the school, was heard admitting to the offence in a meeting held on February 28, 2020, at the office of the Director of Quality Assurance Bureau, Ministry of Education, Kwara State.
“With what this girl said now, I have discovered that this is not the first time it is happening. We are guilty already,” he said.
On two other occasions, two teachers were heard begging Fadunmade not to take legal action against the teacher.
James Ayeni, one of the two teachers, would later ask Jimoh Ghazali, a worker at the Ministry of Education, Kwara State, to help mediate on the issue before it got to court.
On the other hand, Ghazali was angered by the disposition of the school’s proprietor when a resolution meeting between Fadunmade and Adekanye was held on July 8, 2020.
“I was angry when the proprietor was asking the pupil questions like: ‘how many times has he touched you? What did he touch you with?’, Ghazali said at the meeting.
“Those questions had a deep insinuation. I was expecting the proprietor to be appealing to the girl’s parent instead of asking such sensitive questions.”
FIJ made further enquiries about the school from different people at the Ministry of Education and those who live close to the school.
An anonymous source said the school had become popular over allegations of teachers sexually molesting pupils.
“My house is a stone’s throw from the school, so I am very conversant with the recurring cases of this atrocity,” the source said. “From the rate at which ritual has become rampant in our society today, you will observe that these things have become institutionalized.
“I regularly hear feedback on these cases from parents. I am almost convinced the school knows about them.”
When FIJ contacted Adekanye, he denied having knowledge of the progress of the case before Family Court.
“The matter is in court and the lawyer is handling it. I have not been following the case,” he said.
On the allegations of ritual in the school, Adekanye said he was a gospel worker and could not do such a thing.
“Since when I have been doing the gospel work, I have never initiated myself or engaged in any nonsense. I don’t know anything about all that,” he said.
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