The Deeper Life High School, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Friday, organised a football match in honour of its student, who was alleged to have been sexually abused in 2020 by some senior students of the school.
The football match was scheduled after the school authorities and the boy’s parents agreed to an out of court settlement, following advice from a State High Court judge who was hearing the matter, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
The victim was 11-year-old and in the junior class at the time of the incident.
His mother, Deborah Okezie, said some senior students of the school took advantage of the boy when the school authorities switched him from his dormitory to another dormitory filled with senior students.
“They will remove his boxer and push their legs and hands into his anus,” Mrs Okezie said in a video which had gone viral on Facebook and Twitter.
Five officials of the Deeper Life School, including the suspended principal of the school, were arraigned over the incident.
Two SS1 students, who were 13 at the time, were also arraigned.
All of them pleaded not guilty.
‘In life, you fight to correct things’
The victim’s mother, Mrs Okezie, streamed the football live on Facebook from the Deeper Life School premises in Uyo.
“In life, you fight to correct things,” the woman said in the live video, apparently justifying the protracted battle she fought against the school and why she accepted a peace move from the school authorities.
She said she was happy about the restoration of peace between her family and the school. She said she was happier that her son was alive.
“Some people’s children went to school and never came back,” she said. “My son is alive.”
The Deeper Life High School is owned by a Pentecostal church, The Deeper Christian Life Ministry.
The school trended on Twitter for days over the case, with several Nigerians calling on William Kumuyi, a pastor and founder of The Deeper Christian Life Ministry, to ensure that the victim gets justice.
The victim’s mother, Mrs Okezie, while streaming the football match, said: “As soon as the matter reached Kumuyi, a lot changed.” – Apparently, she meant the pastor brought about the peace between her family and the school.
“Daddy Kumuyi is hosting his grandchild (the sex abuse victim),” she said of the football match. “It’s a big ceremony. My son is so blessed.”
The victim, dressed in a black jacket, was captured in the live video as he stepped out of the car.
The school officials received him before he changed into a jersey to play the match with other students, including the two who were accused of sexually molesting him.
The school authorities and the boy’s parents, in the days to come, are expected to brief the court on how far they have gone in their peace effort.