A 12-year-old student (name withheld) on Thursday told an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court how her teacher, Ngozi Igwe, sexually assaulted her in classroom.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the JS2 student testified virtually at the trial of Igwe for sexual assault by penetration.
She was led in evidence by Lagos State counsel, Ms Bukola Okeowo.
The alleged survivor told the court that the incident happened when she was seven years old and the defendant was her teacher in Primary Three.
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She said that the defendant, on several occasions, called her to his table and sexually assaulted her by inserting his finger into her vagina.
According to her, the defendant’s desk was at the back of the class while pupils’ seats faced the board.
The alleged survivor said: “He always called me to his table, put his hands under my dress and put his finger in my vagina.
“I cannot remember the exact number but I know he did that to me several times.
“When I told my mother, she took me to a police station and Mirabel Medical Centre where medical examination was conducted on me.
“The doctor did not tell me anything about the result but he told my mother.”
During cross-examination by defence counsel, Mr Onome Akpeneye, the alleged survivor said that she did not scream while the defendant allegedly assaulted her.
She said there was no demarcation in the classroom, as pupils sat in the front while the defendant sat at the back.
According to her, she was closing at 1.30 p.m., and there was no circuit television camera in the school.
Earlier, the defence counsel urged the court to allow the student come to court for the cross- examination
Akpeneye said: “My lord, looking at the dimeanour of the witness, I cannot cross-examine her virtually.
“I humbly urge the court that the witness be brought to court.
“Since the witness is on holiday, she can come to court tomorrow. I also want the court to bear in mind that I am doing this case pro-bono.”
The prosecution counsel, Okeowo, in her response, urged the court to direct the defence counsel to cross-examine the minor virtually.
Okeowo said: “My lord, we cannot guarantee her presence because she was traumatised.
“In fact, while I was conducting pre-trial, she was crying uncontrollably.
“Also, on the last adjourned date, we informed the court that the second prosecution witness would be examined virtually, which the defence counsel did not object to.
Justice Rahman Oshodi overruled the submission of the defence counsel, saying that the Child Rights Act allowed for children to give evidence in closed door.
Oshodi adjourned the case until Dec. 14 for continuation of trial.