The principal of Premiere Academy, Lugbe in Abuja has expressed his deep condolence over the controversial death of Miss Keren-Happuch Akpagher, a 14-year-old student who was before her death an SSS 1 student held in the school premises on Saturday, 3 July, 2021.
Below is the full text as presented to the press…
It is with a deep sense of loss and grief that I welcome you all to this Press Briefing to provide update on the death of Miss Keren-Happuch Akpagher, who until her untimely death on Tuesday, 22 June, 2021, was a Senior Secondary Class 1 (SS 1) student of the school.
Since her demise, the media space has been agog with various reports and concerns around various stakeholders in the affair – from the family to the health institutions and to the school.
It is a sad moment for us as we continue to mourn our late dear student, classmate, schoolmate and friend that just passed.
As an institution whose objective is to make every child who passes through this high school to become an effective communicator, a critical thinker, an independent learner, an achiever, an ethical individual and a world-class citizen, and for the fact that the life of our dear student has been lost, we deemed it fit to provide clarity to a number of misinformation across the media space.
Our clarification is to state our findings in the ongoing investigation regarding Miss Keren-Happuch Akpagher, especially in her last few weeks as a student of the school.
We, initially issued a statement on 29 June, 2021 where we commiserated with the family of the deceased and stated our position which included the following:
• Keren Akpagher, reported to the School Clinic on 17 June, 2021 with a complaint of redness of the eye. Her mother requested that she be taken to see an ophthalmologist on Saturday, 19 June, 2021. She was taken for the appointment in the morning of the same day.
• On her return to the school, her mother further requested to take her home because Keren was insisting on going home for that weekend. An exeat was granted and she was released to her mother on Saturday afternoon in a stable condition.
• The school only got to know about her hospitalisation in the morning of Monday, 21 June, 2021. We mobilised immediately and paid her a visit at the hospital on that day. It was with deep sympathy that we later heard of her demise early the next day, Tuesday, 22 June, 2021.
• The school did not refuse to grant the mother of the deceased custody of the sick daughter at any point.
• On the issue of the release of her to the mother at the ophthalmologist’s clinic where she requested for her, the official of the school (nurse), who accompanied the student could not release her to the mother at the hospital because the due procedure for releasing a student had not been completed. After they got to the school, an exeat was processed and she was released to her mother.
• The school has commenced internal investigation on the circumstances surrounding her death. No stone will be left unturned in our quest to get to the root of this matter as a School and parents to find real cause of the unfortunate demise of dear daughter and further forestall such incidence in the future.
• As an institution, the safety and security of our student are most paramount to us including their protection against sexual assaults of any type and kind in our school.
• In the light of this incident, we have honoured the invitation from the Nigerian Police investigating the case surrounding her death, where we cooperated with them and stated our commitment in assisting them in their quest to unravel the controversies.
• Since the demise, the school has visited the family several times – 15 management officers on the day of her death, delivered a condolence letter on the second day.
While we appreciate the sensitivity of the issues at the moment, we appeal for restraint on the part of the media, at this time we are all grieving, from sharing unconfirmed information that could jeopardise the case and cause further harm to the family of our dear student. It also jeopardises the effort of the law enforcement agencies towards solving the case.