The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has granted the request of mother of late 14-year-old student of Premiere Academy, Lugbe.
The late Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher, was to be joined in the suit filed by her school, seeking to stop Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) from investigating the circumstances which led to her daughter’s death.
The late Keren was allegedly raped at Premiere Academy and a condom left inside her by the rapist, infecting her with sepsis and compromising her immunity, which led to her tragic end.
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Ruling on Mrs Vivien Vihimga Akphagher’s application for joinder argued on her behalf by Barrister Chioma Onwucheya-Uko, the trial judge, Justice Evelyn Maha, held that the applicant had placed sufficient documents before her, to justify her request to be joined in the suit. She, also, noted that there was no objection from any of the parties.
She said she ordered that the applicant, Mrs Akpagher, be joined as the third defendant and directed counsel to the plaintiff (Premiere Academy), Eyitato Fatogun (SAN), to effect the joinder and serve all process in the suit on her.
Following a formal complaint lodged by Keren’s mother, Mrs. Vivien Vihimga Akphagher, at the FCCPC, accusing the school of breaching their contract of a duty of care and protection of her daughter, leading to her rape and death, the commission had summoned the school, demanding information and explanations.
However, miffed by the summons from FCCPC, the school accused it of attempting to usurp the statutory powers of the police and asked the court to stop it. 2022.
The school even sought an interlocutory injunction restraining FCCPC from investigating the petition brought by Keren’s mother, on the claim that the commission was seeking to usurp the function of the police. But Justice Evelyn Maha struck out the request as she said granting the request would amount to determining the substantive suit at the interlocutory stage.
In the action with suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/26/, the school named FCCPC and the Inspector General of Police as first and second defendants/respondents.
In her ruling, Justice Maha refused the application, struck the same out and ordered an accelerated hearing of the substantive suit. In a few weeks, it would be one year since Keren died on June 22, 2021.