Memorial Event Held for Late 14-Year-Old Rape Victim, Advocacy Groups Host Public Speaking Challenge

Family and human rights groups, Keren’s Safe Haven Foundation and Men Against Rape Foundation, organized a public speaking event to commemorate the second-year memorial of Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher, a 14-year-old boarding student at Premiere Academy in Lugbe, Abuja. Keren tragically lost her life on June 22, 2021, after being raped, leading to complications from a condom left inside her by the assailant.

The event, named the Abuja Public Secondary School Challenge on Public Speaking To Raise Awareness of Rape and Child Sexual Abuse, aimed to empower secondary school students with knowledge about identifying and speaking out against abuse.

Mrs. Vivien Vihimga Akpagher, Keren’s mother and co-convener of the event, emphasized the importance of equipping children with the tools to recognize warning signs and have the courage to report any form of abuse. She expressed her determination to seek justice for her daughter and criticized the government, police, and other relevant institutions for their failure and lack of commitment in apprehending Keren’s killer-rapist.

Mrs. Akpagher highlighted the compromised handling of evidence by the police, particularly their refusal to share samples of the condom and spermatozoa found inside her daughter. She also mentioned the police’s failure to obtain CCTV footage from Premiere Academy, which could have shed light on the incident.

Lemmy Ughegbe, the co-convener and Executive Director of Men Against Rape Foundation (MARF), reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to ensuring Keren’s case does not become just another statistic. He called on the government and the police to fulfill their responsibilities by bringing the culprit to justice. Ughegbe expressed his disappointment in the police’s inability to retrieve crucial CCTV footage from the school, despite its 54 cameras. He criticized their alleged negligence and failure to explain the reason for not obtaining the footage, even after hearing claims that it automatically deletes monthly.

The event served as a platform for students to showcase their public speaking skills, with Government Secondary School emerging as the first-place winner. Government Secondary School in Wuye secured the second position, followed by Government Secondary School in Garki, which claimed the third position.

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