One school teacher, Benedict Ekpenyong, was dragged by residents of Ogunfunmi Street, Akobi Crescent in the Surulere area of Lagos on Tuesday, to a police station for allegedly locking up a female pupil in his room and attempting to rape her.
According to Punch, the 14-year-old pupil, identified only as Blessing, had been lured by Ekpenyong to his apartment at about 12pm, after which he bolted the door to the suspicion of his neighbours.
It was learnt that Ekpenyong, who was a teacher in Akintan Grammar School on Akintan Street, Surulere, and Blessing, also a pupil of the school, were in the room for a few minutes before a mob surrounded the house and tried to force the teacher’s door open.
It was gathered that when the door was forced open, the mob observed that Ekpenyong had allegedly attempted to have sex with the pupil, and they began to beat him.
The teacher was reportedly beaten by the mob before he and the pupil were dragged to the Alakara Police Division at about 1pm.
A resident of the street, who declined to give his name, said the police had visited the teacher’s house to collect exhibits, adding that the neighbours became angry because Ekpenyong allegedly had a habit of bringing schoolgirls and locking them up in his room during school hours.
He said, “I do not stay on Ogunfunmi Street but I knew when the mob went to the house. For several minutes, people gathered in front of the teacher’s room and asked him to open the door but he refused. Then, they forced it open.
“When they did, they found evidence that Ekpenyong might have attempted to rape the girl as the pupil was not the first person that would be brought to the teacher’s room. So, they began to beat him up. It was a major scene on the street.”
It was learnt that Ekpenyong had been arrested by the police and detained since Tuesday, while the girl was taken away by the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team of the Lagos State Government for medical examination and rehabilitation.
One of the social workers, identified only as Idowu, said, “The information we have is that the suspect is notorious in the area for bringing little girls to his house and doing suspicious things with them. He locks them up in his room so nobody gets to hear anything.
“On Tuesday, the neighbours were watching him and they sent an alert to the government. By the time we got there, he had stepped out with the girl. The people actually beat him up and dragged both of them to the police station. The girl has been taken and we are making arrangements to move her from the station.”
The Coordinator, DSVRT, Lola Viviour-Adeniyi, said the team would write to the Ministry of Education to investigate the school as it had been reported that cases of sexual abuses were rampant in the school.
She said, “It was a mandated reporter that brought the matter to our attention. So, we informed a social worker from the Child Protection Unit of the Ministry of Youths, to go to the police station and provide protection for the girl.
“As we speak, the girl is under protection. We want the police to ensure that the suspect is charged to court as the government is interested in the matter. Also, we will write to the Ministry of Education to investigate the school as we learnt that this was not the first time cases of sexual abuse would come up.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Joe Offor, confirmed the teacher’s arrest. He added that the police had visited the scene of the crime and would charge the suspect to court after investigation was concluded.
He said, “A case of attempted rape was reported by one of the neighbours. The suspect is a part-time teacher with Akintan Grammar School, Surulere, and he was arrested while he was about to rape his victim. The suspect will be charged to court after investigation is concluded.”