A former student of Olashore School (OIS) in lloko-ljesha, Osun State, simply identified as Obiamaka Azubike, has alleged that the school tried to cover up when she reported that she was sexually assaulted by 13 students.
In a lengthy letter addressed to the school and seen by SaharaReporters, Chidinma said she was a student of OIS between September 1998 and July 2004 during and that she served in various capacities including as public relations (PR) prefect.
The student said her ordeal started on May 1, 2004, when the school had its entry examination.
According to her, around 8 pm on that day, she and four of her female friends had left their hostels to go to the school hall where a debate was holding.
Chidinma said when she got to the hall, she and her friends were told that Senior Secondary School 3 students were excluded from the exercise since they had an examination to prepare for at the time.
She said on her way back to her hostel, she was allegedly sexually assaulted by 13 of her male classmates, leaving her in severe pain.
The rankled lady said she narrowly escaped the encounter and thereafter
went to the principal’s apartment inside the school.
Chidinma said when she arrived at the principal’s house, he and his wife cross-examined her and was later taken to the school’s clinic for treatment where the nurse confirmed that she had “vaginal trauma” as a result of the experience.
The former student said her sister, who was also a student of the school, later came to take her to her hostel.
The lady said on numerous occasions, the principal made her write statements about her experience and promised to inform her parents about it but failed to do so.
She recalled that on her way from the principal's office to find out if the principal had called her parents as promised, she was attacked again and severely beaten by some boys.
Chidinma said one of the boys who beat him was not among those who sexually assaulted her but was persuaded by her abusers to join them in the matter because his guardian was the founder of the school, a monarch, Oba Oladele Olashore.
The lady said the school convened a special assembly the next day and her abusers were “punished (sentenced to the junior house for their examinations with the prefects amongst them de-badged).”
The lady said the founder, Oba Oladele Olashore, however, “turned to me and declared that I would have the same punishment — I was punished for talking about being sexually assaulted.”
She said: “I was also banned from Prom and the Valedictory service. The girl that was with me that night but escaped being assaulted was also given the same punishment I was given."
Chidinma said when her parents eventually got to know about the incident, the principal “attempted to tell a different story from what happened" and dragged her family's name in the mud.
The lady, who said she has been traumatised by the experience for the past 17 years, called on the school to ensure justice is served in the case.
“It is unfair to expect survivors of sexual assault and rape to live with lifelong consequences while the people and the systems that damaged us go scot-free," she added.
“My ask today is simple, correct the injustice you served. Publicly apologise in print and on social to me (Obiamaka Azubike), the now young woman who you punished with me (name withheld) and our families who were humiliated.
“Reinstate the records to show that both Chiamaka née Azubike and I, Obiamaka Azubike were school prefects.
“Grant a zoom ceremony where Chiamaka née Azubike and I are both awarded our honours which we earned.”
Efforts to reach the school authorities for comments failed as they could not be reached on the phone numbers listed on the school's website.
One of the numbers was not available while repeated calls to the other were not answered.