The Edo State Government has set up a committee to check the incidence of child defilement in the state, in a renewed effort to strengthen the Child Rights Law to address issues of sexual abuse of children.
Acting Chairman, Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Special Assistant to the Governor on Basic Education, Dr. Joan Oviawe, disclosed this during a press briefing at the Government House, Benin City, when the state government handed over a 58 years old man, Mr. Lambert Ighodaro, to the State Police Command for prosecution for allegedly raping a 12 years old girl in Benin City, Edo State capital.
Dr. Oviawe added, “After the case was reported by SUBEB to the Police, Mr. Lambert was apprehended by the Police.”
She said, “This was after SUBEB received report of the incident from the class teacher of the 12 years old girl, who is a pupil in one of the primary schools. She had observed that the girl was always absent from school and contacted the girl’s guardian to find out the cause of her absenteeism.”
“The girl told her class teacher how she was being sexually abused by Mr. Lambert Ighodaro, in his house during school hours since 2017. She alleged that the man gives her money after defiling her,” she added.
The SUBEB boss told journalists that the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, had set up an inter-ministerial committee to develop a framework to curb the incidence of child defilement in the state.
She said the board is concerned about the wellbeing of pupils while in and out of school, noting that structures are being put in place to assist victims of rape overcome stigma, while the perpetrators are not only shamed but prosecuted.
She said, “Teachers who were trained recently in the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo BEST) programme, were trained on ways to identify children who have been abused physically and sexually.”
Oviawe explained that the board was also investigating two other cases of sexual abuse involving an 11 years old girl and another eight years old girl.
“The state government is reviewing existing Child Rights Law to strengthen the law made to combat all forms of abuses against children in the state,” she noted.