Justice for Keren Akpagher
This is a story of 14-year-old Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher a Boarding student of Premiere Academy Lugbe, Abuja who died on the 22nd of June, 2021.
According to accounts from friends, on 16th June 2021, she couldn’t walk from the hostel to class and had to be helped by her friends to write her test in tears.
Saturday, 19th June 2021, she complained that she had an eye infection and called her mother to be picked for medical attention.
Mrs Akpagher, mother of Keren-Happuch Akpagher told Punch that she called the principal who warned that her daughter would need to be isolated for five days (upon return).
“I felt I should go home since the school said they could take care of her.”
On her way home, Mrs Akpagher got another frantic call from her daughter insisting she had to leave school. According to her, her daughter said, ‘you people don’t know why I am asking you to come to pick me and you are leaving,”
She went back to the school and demanded that her daughter be released to her.
According to her, her daughter looked visibly ill and withdrawn. She tried to nurse her back to health but the next day 19th June 2021, she was rushed to a private clinic in Wuse, Abuja. Her health was deteriorating according to observations from doctors and lab tests on Monday 20th June, the discharge from her vagina was found to be a condom. Her urine test also revealed dead spermatozoa.
Keren Akpagher died on Tuesday 22nd June 2021. The cause of death was determined to be hyperglycemia triggered by sepsis resulting from infection caused by a condom found in her.
What happened between the 16th-19th of June?
Keren’s mother, Mrs. Akpagher is demanding justice for her child, who she believes was sexually abused before she was withdrawn from school on June 19th for treatment after she complained of redness of the eye.
According to reports, Mrs Akpagher said she immediately challenged the school authorities after a hospital report showed the cause of Keren’s death, but the institution only promised to look into the matter.
Friends and family of the deceased then took to social media to share the fears of an alleged plot of a cover-up by the school.
In a statement made available on the school’s official Facebook page, the school management denied any cover-ups while commiserating with Keren’s family, stating that the case is being investigated by the police and the school is fully cooperating with law enforcement agents to get to the root of the matter.
“We deeply commiserate with the family of Keren Akpagher, who was a student of Premier Academy Lugbe, Abuja until her demise on Tuesday 22nd June 2021. Before her death, Keren Akpagher was an easy-going student who never appeared before the academy’s disciplinary committee on any issue.
As a school, we are committed to ascertaining the cause of Keren’s death because the life of every student at Premier Academy matters.”
On Thursday, 24th June 2021, the school was invited to the FCT Police Investigation Department and according to the police, a full-scale investigation commenced by the Police Investigation Unit.
There has been no mention of first aid or internal investigations by the school into the potential abuse that occurred before Keren’s demise. The family remains horrified that it took the death of their daughter for information as sensitive as this to be disclosed.
We will continue to lend our voice in demanding justice for the deceased.
Below is the school statement in full:
Premier Academy commiserates with the family of Keren Akpagher
We deeply commiserate with the family of Keren Akpagher, who was a student of Premier Academy Lugbe, Abuja. Until her demise on Tuesday 22nd June 2021. She was admitted into the academy (JSS2) on 16 April 2019 but she resumed on Sunday 28th April 2019.
On admission, according to the medical report and her mother’s attestation, Keren Akpagher was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus at the age of (9) and had been on insulin injection. The insulin injection was handed over to our clinic by her mother Mr, Akpagher, Vlhimga Vivien and we judiciously administered the insulin to her twice each day until she left the school in a healthy condition on 19th June 2021.
All through her stay at Premier Academy; Keren’s health was managed with a controlled diet and frequent monitoring of her blood sugar level by our well-trained health officials at the clinic. The last fasting blood sugar test she did on Thursday the 17th June 2021 was 114mg/dl.
On Thursday 17th June 2021, Keren Akpagher visited the school’s clinic with a complaint of redness of the eye. Her mother, Mrs Akpagher requested that she should be taken to see an Ophthalmologist on Sunday 19th June 2021 and she was taken for the appointment in the morning of that same day. On her return to the school on that same day (Saturday), her mother further requested to pick her home because Keren insisted on going home for the weekend. An exeat was granted and she went home with her mother in a healthy condition.
On Monday morning-21st June 2021, we learnt she became ill and hospitalized. On hearing that as a school, we mobilized immediately and visited her at the hospital, a private clinic in Wuse, Abuja. It was heart-rending when we heard of her demise the next day Tuesday, 22nd June 2021. Before her death, Keren Akpagher was an easy-going student who never appeared before the academy’s disciplinary committee on any issue.
Since the demise of Keren Akpagher, there have been speculations and unfounded statements concerning her death on social media, especially on Whatsapp. We hereby inform the general public that whatever message they have come across on social media is unfounded. As a school, we are committed to ascertaining the cause of Keren’s death because the life of every student at Premier Academy matters.
Last week, Thursday, (24th June 2021), the school was invited to the FCT Police Investigation Department and a full-scale investigation commenced by the Police Investigation Unit.
We wish to clearly state that we will cooperate with the police unit as we are committed to ensuring that the actual cause of Keren’s death is fully determined.
At this point, we enjoin all interested parties and the public to desist from making unfounded statements, to assist the investigation process.