Activist rejects Premier Academy lawsuit against him – Blueprint Newspapers Limited
Premiere Academy, Lugbe, has filed a complaint against the leader of the Coalition of Gender-Based Violence Stakeholders (CGBVR) Lemmy Ughegbe for allegedly defaming his character by talking about Keren-Happuch Akphagher, his deceased boarding school at the as a result of health complications caused by rape.
Speaking recently at Abuja Branch Law Week of the Abuja Bar Association (NBA), coalition leader Lemmy Ughegbe called on lawyers to join his group in lobbying the police to track down the culprit.
He said the school administration asked the Abuja High Court to award 500 million naira in damages against him.
In said complaint filed by the legal team of the Premiere Academy led by Asiwaju Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), which includes his wife, Chief (Ms.) Victoria Awomolo (SAN) and Eyitayo Fatogun (SAN), the school also asks the court to bar the Child and Gender Rights Defender (Ughegbe) from making further public statements regarding the alleged rape and death of Keren-Happuch until further notice.
The Premiere Academy argued that “if the court does not ban Ughegbe, she (Premiere Academy, Lugbe) will suffer irreparable damage to her character”.
Following medical reports that the 14-year-old girl was raped at Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja and a condom left inside her, which infected her with sepsis, increased blood sugar, resulting in her death from hyperglycemia on June 22, 2021. Ughegbe has been at the forefront of the search for justice for the deceased and her family.
Therefore, on December 7, 2021, the House of Representatives ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to perform a DNA test for all male school staff and scroll through each person’s DNA with dead sperm found in Keren’s urine and decided to set up an investigative committee to hold a public hearing into the case.
But in a 26 paragraph affidavit filed by Mr. Christopher Akinsowon, who was Acting Director of Premiere Academy before and after Keren’s death on June 22, 2021 and now Director of Studies and Administration of the school, he complained about the speech given by Coalition Leader at NBA Abuja Branch (Unity Bar) 2021 Law Week as a guest panelist.
He said that Ughegbe’s August 30, 2021 speech defamed Premiere Academy and that was why the school asked his lawyers to sue him for defamation in order to prevent him from further harming his picture.
In paragraph 17, Akinsowon stated thus: “That the Respondent (Ughegbe) was seen and heard to say thus:” I seek the authorization of the President to adopt the protocol as established and I believes that it has been observed by your servant. As has been my tradition since June 22, 2021, I cease any opportunity for a public forum to do one thing, a promise I made to the coalition of gender-based violence stakeholders that I lead. .
“On June 22, 2021, the inalienable right of Keren-Happuch Akpagher, 14, was withdrawn because she was raped, a condom left inside her, the condom eventually infected her with a sepsis, which triggered his diabetic condition in such a bad way. and we eventually lost it. And I said that every forum I get I would spend at least two minutes talking about her.
“She was a boarding student at the Premiere Academy in Lugbe. We’re talking about human rights, so that’s even a good omen. Unfortunately, we have problems with the systems that are not in place. If you’ve been following the news very well all this time, you will find that at some point as the coalition has said that this is child sexual abuse that will not just be mere data and that unfortunately we have to inform the offender. and got misdirected on this case, to the point that because we started talking and holding them to account, they decided to accuse me of inciting public disturbance.
“The prime suspect – Premiere Academy is allowed to speak and give press conferences, but is someone licensed as a child and gender rights defender accused of this?” We fought it using the instrument of the media and because of this we have set up petitions and today we are moving forward in this case and I urge the lawyers to join this effort because according to the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu – “if you are neutral in a situation of injustice, then you have taken sides with the oppressor.
When contacted for comment on the lawsuit, Ughegbe, who couldn’t contain his amusement, said: “They (Premier Academy) want to use cheap legal action to silence me and violate my constitutional right to hold and express my opinion? Tell them they made a bad call and they failed. But it’s really laughable. I haven’t received the legal process yet, but a friend of mine said he received it on my behalf. Their case is based primarily on my speech during NBA Abuja Branch Law Week 2021. They are unhappy that I am calling lawyers to join us in seeking justice. What is defamatory about this? In my opinion, this lawsuit is not only frivolous and without merit, but it is also vexatious. But I won’t be upset because I understand their frustrations and therefore what I have for them is sympathy.
“Why will a school be upset and nervous that I call on stakeholders to join us in demanding justice? The good conscience must not be offended or saddened by my call. The school, more than anyone, should even be eager to join us in inviting a close examination of how it works vis-à-vis Keren-Happuch, ”Ughegbe said.
He also expressed his eagerness for the House of Representatives committee of inquiry to begin a public hearing on the matter, adding that “we will open a giant tin of worms.” We have credible intelligence and the world will shudder at the revelations at the public hearing scheduled to begin in January 2022. A team of 7 senior lawyers have been well informed and armed with credible evidence to help the Panel reach a grand conclusion. span. “
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