(The group and supporters at NUJ Kaduna on Thursday)
Ex students of Stephen’s Children Home, COPASSTECH, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Northwest Nigeria have accused the Director of the school, Reverend Isaac Newton of sex abuse and humiliation of teens students of the home.
The Children Home is known for taking responsibility of education of children who have lost a parent or both to religious crisis many of whom have graduated from various higher institutions across the country.
The group alleged that, the Director has impregnated some female students and took them to Lagos sometimes for a week to abort the pregnancy to avoid public sympathy the girls may get.
However, when contacted via his mobile phone, the Director of the Centre denied all the allegations leveled against him describing it as blackmail.
“My accusers were financially induced to blackmail me. Already, the matter is in court and I wonder why the group still went to the press over the issue. All the allegations leveled against are not true”, he denied.
Addressing newsmen at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) in Kaduna on Thursday, National President of COPASSTECH, Ado Baggibawa said, the Reverend has overtime, violated their fundamental human right under disguise of sponsorship and scholarship.
The group further explained that, there was a certain time when report reached the foreign sponsors on the failing state and the dehumanizing practices that have eroded the centre but was swept under carpet because the accused used his arsenal to frustrate facts.
Ado said, “it is on record that over 20 female students had been sexually violated by the accused Director. Interestingly, some of them are here today and are willing to testify on the horrific ordeal they experienced in the center.
“The male students on the other hand were subjected to dehumanizing and excruciating labour during the construction of some structures which were budgeted and paid for by foreign sponsors.
“You can imagine as little as we were; some of us were given some few slices of bread after a hard labour as a recompense for energy expended.
“This was out of the fact that the Director started taking undue advantages of the children especially the young teenage girls by luring and showering them with gifts in disguise of being his good friends which often leads to harassment and abuse of some of them.
“One of the victims stated that he put drugs in her drinks, only to wake up and discovered that she was stained with blood, another has it that being like a father he sent her to prepare his bed, only for him to tip toes after her and held her by the waist and told her he wants to have a taste of her, to this he promised to send money to her mother, brothers and sisters but because she refused to give in, he made her stay in the centre a living hell.
“It is widely acclaimed and known among the students at the centre that his victims call him names like Anaconda, Kusa, Viju Milk etc.
”In 2012, some of those sponsors came to investigate the matter, however, the Director of the centre used the staff to intimidate the victims so as to exonerate and cover his evil practices as a remedy to the survival of the centre.
“We on the other hand, started holding meetings in various states of the country after noticing some of these anomalies. We subsequently had to solicit for a way forward which has been totally misconstrued by many in the first instance. It is also worthy of note, that we wanted to solve the issue amicably as a family.
“So, some of us ‘the alumni’ met the Director with our complains and discoveries but he on the contrary is disseminating false impression that we are only but sponsored to cripple his so called achievements.
“The director has been and is still using his influence, connections and spontaneous wealth to buy his way and change the narratives in his favour. However, the question we the victims have been asking is, how on earth, we all after going through this tragic experience can be subjected to this round of unimaginable insinuation which fundamentally has no base?
“Following our Press release in Ogun State on the 9th of January, 2018, Child Protection Network (CPN) Ogun State reported the case to the appropriate authority which was later taken to the court. It is so unfortunate that the case was never heard, no court appearance and no investigation was carried out, only to wake up one early morning and found a newspaper publication on “the Nation” that the case had been “stroked out”.
“Only leave us with a profound question of “is there nothing fishy about this whole issue of a case been struck out?”
“These donations were generated on the basis of the unfortunate demise of one or both parents in the religious crisis through various publications and videos depicting the deteriorating state of our wellbeing.”