The Lagos State government announced on Monday the shutdown of all Chrisland Schools in the state following an alleged sexual violation involving some pupils during an international trip.
The school has at least seven branches in the state.
The development comes months after the state also shut down Dowen College, following the controversial death of Sylvester Oromoni.
The alleged sexual violation happened when Chrisland School was in Dubai in March to take part in the World School Games, a four-day annual competition with schools from all over the world.
The news of the alleged sexual violation came to the fore when Ubi Franklin, a talent manager, accused the school of complicity in the sexual violation involving the minor and another male pupil.
“Just got off the phone with a friend of mine ???????????????? His 10-year-old daughter was selected to represent her school at the World School Games in Dubai,” he wrote on Sunday night via his Twitter handle.
“His daughter was r**ped by fellow students, video tapped and posted on Instagram and the school concealed it for a month.”
Chrisland is not new to sexual controversy. In 2018, a court convicted a 46-year-old teacher of the school, Adegboyega Adenekan, for raping a two-year-old female pupil.
School closure“The attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to the alleged sexual violence case involving students of Chrisland school,” the statement reads.
“It is pertinent to note that all allegations are being investigated by the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including the Ministry of Education, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Ministry of Justice and the Lagos State Domestic & Sexual Violence Agency, whilst the criminal allegations have been escalated to the Commissioner of Police.”
The government also warned those in possession or circulating the sex tape to desist from such acts or be ready to spend 14 years in jail as prescribed by the law.
“In the meantime, all Chrisland schools within Lagos are hereby closed, pending further investigations,” the statement continued.
OrdealHours after Mr Franklin broke the news, he posted a video of the mother of the female minor narrating how the school concealed the matter from her. The mother said a parent who had seen the explicit video had informed her.
The woman, who didn’t mention her name, said she got a call from the school headteacher, G.I Azike, to come to the school.
“When I got to the school, I met her with two other women in her office. And one introduced herself as Mrs Kemi, I can’t remember her surname,” she said.
“They said they came from Chrisland headquarters. That they wanted me to know that my daughter whom I left in their care, who they took to Dubai. That she had a kiss with a boy and the boy also kissed her and that they found out that they got the kissing thing from Truth and Dare. So, I said okay…”
The woman told the school that she was going to seize her daughter’s phone following the report to prevent further a recurrence.
“I asked if there was anything else, they said no,” she continued
She further said that they advised her not to disclose the discussion to her husband by Mrs Kemi.
According to her, about two to three weeks later, the school management invited her again, this time to a virtual meeting with the board of directors.
“And one, in particular, said he was Akin, he was the one leading the…he began by saying if there is no forgiveness, if there is no sin there is no forgiveness,” she recounted.
“He was speaking in parables, at a time, I had to ask what are you people discussing? He now said no, that he just wanted to do a follow-up to ensure that I have withdrawn…(name withheld) phone to check in how she is doing.
“I said she is fine. He now made a comment that when it happened. I said sir, what happened. He said…(name withheld) did not tell you? I said she didn’t tell me anything.”
The mother said that after pestering the management without result, the meeting ended.
Two days later, a parent from the school called her to inform her about “what is trending in Chrisland, that all the parents are aware.”
“So, immediately I informed my husband. Look at what is going on, then we began to call Mrs Azike, she refused to pick up her call. I called her more than 20 times and she didn’t respond to the call but later I think she spoke with my husband and she said that she didn’t know anything if such a thing existed,” the mother said.
The woman, thereafter, said she asked her daughter and she confessed to her that Mrs Azike has “threatened her not to speak out. So, she narrated how it happened, how they abandoned them in the hotel, and how she got into this thing.
“So, even on our behalf, they have been having meetings, they have been sending delegates from their headquarters to have meetings with my daughter without my consent. I was not aware. We were not informed.”
SuspensionChrisland suspended the ten-year-old female student for what they described as “improper behaviour.”
In a suspension letter posted by People Gazette newspaper, dated April 14, the school told the parents that their ward was a “major participant” in a truth-or-dare game with other male pupils.
They, however, did not state the nature of punishment meted on the male student involved or the others in the room when the act was done.