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Rape: Court fixes September 20 to hear Premiere Academy’s request against gender activist

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An Abuja High Court has fixed Tuesday, 20th of September 2022 to entertain an interlocutory application brought by embattled Premiere Academy, Lugbe, seeking to restrain Child and Gender Rights Advocate, Lemmy Ughegbe from continuing to seek justice for late 14-year-old Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akphagher.

Keren-Happuch, who was a boarding student of Premiere Academy, died on the 22nd of June after contracting sepsis from condom left inside her by a rapist, which compromised her immunity leading to her tragic end.

When the matter came up Thursday, 14th of July 2022, Counsel to Premiere Academy, Barrister Chike Nwogbo prayed the court for an adjournment in order to respond to the counter-affidavit filed by counsel to Ughegbe, Barrister Johnbull Adaghe opposing the application of the school, seeking to gag his client (Ughegbe) from leading the advocacy to seek justice for Keren.

Ughegbe has been in the forefront of mobilising members of the civil society organisations to mount pressure on the police to conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation to fish out the killer-rapist and bring him to book.

In one of his advocacies, the journalists, child and gender rights advocate, speaking as a panellists at the law week of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) last year, charged members of the bar not to remain bystanders but to join the clarion call for the killer-rapist to be fished out and prosecuted for the crime against the late 14-year-old.

Ughegbe reminded the lawyers of the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu, who said ‘if you are silent in a situation of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor,’ pointing out that ‘the unity bar and indeed all lawyers cannot afford to be silent on Keren-Happuch. I challenge you to look at her case and take it up to ensure that we get justice for her family even as it serves as a deterrent for others. Remember, no child is safe until every child is safe.

Upset by the rousing speech at the law week, Premiere Academy filed a N500 Million suit against Ughegbe for allegedly defaming it even as it has asked for an order of court to restrain the advocate from further seeking justice for Keren pending the outcome of the substantive suit.

It will be recalled that Premiere Academy had also dragged the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to a Federal High Court, Abuja Division, seeking to stop it from investigating a petition filed by Keren’s mother, Mrs. Vivien Vihimga Akpagher, accusing the school of breach of her right as a consumer, which led to her daughter’s death.

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