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Court grants order compelling Reps to conduct public inquiry on death of Keren Akpagher

From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja

Justice Evelyn Maha of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division on Thursday granted leave to Men Against Rape Foundation (MARF) to commence legal process to compel the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and members of the House of Representatives to comply with its own resolution to conduct investigative public hearing into the rape and death of 14 year old boarding student of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja, Miss Keren-Happuch Akpagher.

Keren-Happuch died on June 22, 2021 following medical complications caused by condom left inside her by the rapists. The condom infected her with sepsis and spiked her blood sugar, which led to her death.

Ruling on an exparte motion argued by counsel to MARF, Barrister Johnbull Adaghe, Justice Maha held that the request to commence the mandamus proceedings had merit and accordingly granted it. “Having considered the submission of the applicant’s counsel in support of the motion and all documents placed before me, I find merit in the motion and I hereby grant leave to the applicant for judicial review for an order of mandamus compelling the respondents to give effect to their resolution of the 7th day of December, 2021, by conducting investigative public hearing on the death or the immediate and remote cause of cause of death of Miss Keren-Happuch Akpagher who died on the 22nd day of June, 2021, at the Queens Hospital, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja”, Justice Maha ruled.

In the substantive case, which has mother of late Keren-Happuch as second Plaintiff and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the House of Representatives as 1st and second defendants, Men Against Rape Foundation is seeking the following reliefs:

late Keren-Happuch Akpagher

  • An Order of mandamus compelling the respondents to give effect to their resolution of the 7th day of December, 2021, by conducting investigative public hearing on the death or the immediate and remote cause of cause of death of Miss Keren-Happuch Akpagher who died on the 22nd day of June, 2021, at the Queens Hospital, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.
  • An order of mandamus compelling the respondents to carry out their constitutional role of investigative public hearing into the death or the immediate and remote cause of death of Miss Keren Happuch Akpagher – a boarding student of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja, who died at the Queens Hospital, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja, on the 22nd day of June, 2021.

The reliefs sought above were predicated upon the followings grounds:

  • Miss Keren-Happuch Akpagher was a boarding student of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja.A – 14 years old Keren took ill while at school and was taken by her mother to the Queens Hospital, Abuja, for treatment, but unfortunately died on the 22nd day of June, 2021.
  • Queens Hospital confirmed to the 2nd applicant that Miss Keren illness and death was caused by decaying condom and dead spermatozoa hurriedly abandoned in her virginal by her abuser/rapist.

Her unfortunate demise elicited wide condemnation and caught the attention of 1st applicant who called and held rallies and press conferences in its efforts to draw the attention of the authorities to the menace of rape in our society with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice. In response to one of the agitations and rallies held within the premises of the National Assembly, the respondents, on the 7th day of December, 2021, passed a resolution to conduct public investigative hearing through their related Committees, with a view to enacting legislation that would abate further occurrence.

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