The Lagos State government has said that some unruly SSS III students of lreti Senior Grammar School and Falomo Senior High School, both in the Ikoyi area of the state, who were reported to have gone on a rampage and harassed fellow students, especially the girls after the completion of their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), have been arrested for their untoward and unguided behaviour.
One Michale Matthew had written about her experience on Wednesday where she said the scissors-wielding boys attempted to rape the girls in broad daylight. She said they’d torn the skirts and undergarments of the girls, adding that the girls would’ve been raped if not for the intervention of she and others.
She added that it is the custom in that area, saying that security guards had brought out their phones to record the terrible events.
According to the Deputy Governor of Lagos State , Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule who also oversees the Education Ministry, four of the boys involved are already helping the law enforcement agents in apprehending others who participated in the reckless act. She assured the public that extensive investigations will be conducted and all those found culpable will be made to face the consequences of their indiscretion which borders on indiscipline and lawlessness.
She emphasized that the State Government will not take kindly to the reckless attitude of a few unruly students tarnishing the image built over the years and enjoined parents and guardians to warn their children and wards to always act civil while in and out of the school premises.
The Deputy Governor, therefore, directed that all Principals and school heads must continue to institute measures to curb indiscipline in their various schools and warned that failure to act accordingly will result in appropriate disciplinary actions as stipulated in the Public Service Rules.
PUNCH reports that on Thursday police officers from the Adeniji Adele Police Division, the Social Welfare Department of the Lagos State Ministry of Youths, Sports and Social Development and officials from the deputy governor’s office stormed the schools to trace some of the suspects.
Four of them were arrested, and they are helping with apprehending the others.
Coordinator of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, speaking to PUNCH, said that DSVRT had begun investigation, adding that the public should expect prosecution in the case.
“We are working to ensure that we provide a holistic response to the case. Aside from investigation, there is also the legal aspect; possible prosecution to ensure deterrence. The Attorney-General has also given directives that the matter should be investigated. We are working to ensure that this kind of activity does not repeat itself again,” she said.
Vivour-Adeniyi adds that the agency will embark on sensitisation campaigns in schools to enlighten the kids, teachers and parents on sexual and gender-based violence.
However, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Olarinde Famous-Cole said that preliminary investigation has revealed that there were no indications that the schoolboys’ actions could be termed as rape.
“As it is, there is no indication of rape. The report the division gave us is that students had rivalry and differences. The division called in some of the students to the station and would also be contacting their parents as part of the investigation. As I speak with you, the DPO said there is nothing like rape. When we have evidence through the reports of the state government, parents and the victims, we will be able to shed more light on the nature of what took place that day.”
One resident Bisola Aderiye said that the practice of tearing each other’s uniforms after their final exams was not new. She adds that male students also assault their female counterparts.
Asked why residents such as herself failed to do anything whenever they witness such things, she said, “Some of those boys move around with knives and scissors. Because some of them live around here, they always do it where we people cannot catch them. But we are aware they do it.”
Another resident said: “It is a so-called normal activity for the leavers. They tear their uniforms (while) girls are raped and abused. In fact, count yourself lucky if raped by just a boy who protects you from being gang raped. Some girls absent themselves from school. Some wear three or four cyclers as protective wears; some bribe or pay for their freedom.”