General News of Fri, 7 Sep 201811

Kasoa defilement: State must prioritise rights of 9-year-old victim - Human rights advocate

The Acting Executive Director of Human Rights Advocacy Centre has said it is an insult for a teacher accused of defiling his nine-year-old pupil to have paid the family ¢50 to shut them up.

Cynthia Nimoh Apremdo told Emefa Apawu on Newsnight that “paying ¢50 or more does not exonerate someone who has been accused of an offence as serious as defilement. The law allows for compensation to be paid in criminal matters."

“Whether or not you are paid money, you should still have access to justice. Something that is lost on some of us is why the family has not been able to access justice for the little girl,” she added.

Her comments follow reports of alleged defilement of a nine-year-old by her teacher in Kasoa in the Central region.

The teacher is said to have inserted his fingers into the vagina of the Primary Two pupil after offering to teach her what she had missed when she reported late to vacation classes.

Unknown to the poor girl, the teacher had an agenda. She recounts that the teacher asked all the other pupils in the class to go home so he could use the classroom.

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Even an appeal from the girl's friend to be allowed to stay while she was taught, was rejected by the teacher.

When I started writing, he came closer and rubbed his hands in my head and said my father has asked him to provide all my needs, she told Joy News Maxwell Agbabga.

She continued that "he put me on one of the tables and started inserting his fingers into my genitals. It was painful, I started struggling with him.”

During the sexual act, however, the victim in her attempt to flee fell off the table and hit her pelvis on another table in the classroom.

The girl has been home since and unable to walk since last month when the sad incident happened.

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Commenting on the development, the Chairman of the Gender Committee in Parliament expressed regret over the matter but said the Gender Ministry does not have the needed resources to fight cases like this.

Dr Kojo Appiah Kubi told Joy News’ Ayisha Ibrahim on The Pulse Thursday that the Ministry is handicapped because it has a very low budget. According to him, the Ministry relies on NGO to help victims of abuse and injustice.

“We are in talks with the Ministry to ensure they are able to help out in cases of such eventualities,” he said.

But Mrs Apremdu who is unimpressed lamented the usual refrain of there is no resources when such cases occur arguing the state finds money for other things.

The human rights advocate said it is time the state prioritise its needs and the right of its citizens, especially children who are vulnerable.

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