Ex-students Demand Probe of Sex Scandal In Children Home



By Sola AJIBIKE (Abeokuta)

NIGERIA: EX-STUDENTS of Stephen Children Home, Abeokuta have urged the Federal Government to investigate alleged sexual assaults and maladministration in the institution.

The angry old students also accused the Director of the School, Isaac Oluwole Newton-Wusu, of sexual molestation of some female students, an allegation which the director promptly denied.

The former students under the aegis of Concern Past Students made the appeal at a press conference held at the Press Centre, Abeokuta in Ogun State capital, where members of Child Protection Network, Ogun State Chapter, were present.

But, Newton-Wusu claimed that the ex-students were sponsored by those he did not mentioned to blackmail him.

*Old students at the press conference.

The school was established in 2000 under the umbrella of a Non-Governmental Organization, known as Voice of Martyrs, to accommodate displaced children across Nigeria, which focused more on violence victims of the northern part of the country.

But, two female ex-students, who came with their parents to openly narrate their plight, insisted that the Director sexually abused them.

The National Coordinator of the old students, Ado Nicodemus-Baggiwa, who spoke on behalf of others, lamented the poor welfare package of the home, which he insisted still persists till date.

Baggibawa lamented that they had lost six students in just few years due to total negligence and poor health care facility in spite of all the funds donated by charity foundations, both at home and abroad.

He pointed out that the donations that the school received from USA, Netherland, Australia, Canada, Poland and Nigerian churches for the same project were not duly expended on the students.

The National Coordinator appealed to the government, organisations, and ministries in charge of orphanage homes and Non-Governmental Organisations in charge of child protection and international donors to help rise to the worrisome development and save the future of the home and school.

In view of the allegations, Baggibawa sought total overhauling and restructuring of the school to meet the intended goal and the law of the land.

He also demanded close monitoring of the system by the supervisory government bodies which include Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Development Affairs and other relevant bodies.

The ex-student advocated a public hearing on the allegations on the floor of National Assembly or the state house of assembly to “provide a widespread platform for fair hearing and serve as deterrent to many who use our predicament for exploitation.”

He also called on the African Union, United Nations, and international human rights bodies to look into the misappropriation of the funds.

“The press conference is our only avenue to voice our concern, seek for justice and continuity of the Stephens Children Home/School in a manner that will provide sanity and true productivity,” he said, adding: “We have no strength or any ability to confront the director in anyway.”

“Therefore, we seek for the active involvement of the civil rights society organisation and relevant government authorities to come to our aid,” the national coordinator further said.

The two female old students, Mary Jones and Deborah Bala, while narrating their ordeals, insisted that government should take up the matter.

Bala alleged that the director sexually assaulted her when she was 13 and in JSS 2, adding that whenever she was with the Director, she would be unconscious until the deed had been done.

She alleged that Newton-Wusu always drugged, kissed and had sex with her.

Also, Jones alleged that the Director molested her because she refused being sexually assaulted by him.

When contacted, Newton-Wusu described the allegation as plans to remove him as the Director of the home.

“They were sponsored and it is a plan to remove me as the Director of the home.  I can’t comment further,” he said.

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