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Regional News of Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Source: The Finder

School dismisses alleged rape victim

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An 18-year-old second-year student of the Kumbungu Senior High School (SHS) in the Northern Region has been dismissed for accusing the assistant headmaster, Chief Musah Seidu, of rape.

The headmaster and other tutors of the school have been accused of conniving to dismiss the victim to cover up the incident.

According to the distraught student (name withheld), the assistant headmaster of the school in charge of academics, Chief Musah Seidu, allegedly raped her in his bungalow in December 2014, but all efforts to get justice have been thwarted by the school authorities, including the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) chairman.

Narrating the incident to The Finder in Tamale, the victim said she needed a document from Chief Musah Seidu to enable her collect school uniform from the school’s stores.

When she went to Chief Musah’s office to request for the document, he asked her to come for it at his bungalow, and when she went, Chief Musah allegedly raped her and warned her not tell anybody.

According to her, she quickly reported the issue to her housemistress, whose name she gave as Madam Dora.

She told The Finder that Madam Dora led her to the senior housemaster to lodge a complaint.

The case was subsequently reported to the headmaster, who surprisingly asked the victim to vacate the school.

Confused and not knowing what to do, the victim said she reported the case to the PTA Chairman, who told her to come at a later date, by which time he would have met with the headmaster on the issue.

To her disappointment, the victim said the PTA chairman, after meeting with the headmaster, told her to go back to Tamale with the promise that he would get her a school in Tamale.

Left with no option, she packed her things and went home, but never heard from the PTA chairman again.

"When I went to his office for the documents, he asked me to come to his bungalow after school. When I went, he told me to feel free while moving his hands around my waist.

“Chief Musah touched my buttocks, after which he asked me why I was not wearing beads. I did not know what to tell him because I was afraid and shocked so I said nothing. He said he loves me and want to sleep with me and that if I agree he will always bring me foodstuffs anytime he travels to his hometown and buy me provisions.

“He told me he has been buying them for my colleague female students. He moved towards me and started touching me. I resisted but he held me tight trying to remove my skirt so we struggled but finally he overpowered me, tore my skirt and panties and took advantage of me,” the victim claimed.

According to the victim, the assistant headmaster told her to stop crying because nobody would come to her rescue.

She alleged that Chief Musah warned her repeatedly not to tell anybody, and threatened that she would be dismissed from the school if she dared report him to the authorities.

The mother of the victim told The Finder that the matter has not been reported to the police to save the daughter from stigma, as well as public and psychological trauma.

When contacted on phone, Chief Musah declined to comment, but only said he was in Walewale for his grandfather’s funeral.

He directed the reporter to get in touch with the headmaster and the senior housemaster of Kumbungu Senior High School.

“I am in Walewale to bury my grandfather. I will not speak on the issue; if you want, call my headmaster or the senior housemaster,” he said.

Several phone calls to the headmaster and the PTA chairman went unanswered.

Meanwhile, the senior housemaster, who spoke to the paper on phone, confirmed that the case was reported to him by the housemistress.

According to him, the girl, in the company of the housemistress, came to his office to report the issue to him, which he also reported to the headmaster.

The teary victim, in the company of her mother, told this paper that she obtained aggregate 13 in the 2013 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and was placed at Savelugu Senior High School.

She explained that due to financial challenges, admission closed before her mother, who is a trader at the Tamale Central Market, could raise the admission fees.

Desirous of higher education, she secured admission into a private senior high school in Tamale that same year, where she was offered scholarship.

Not satisfied with the standard of teaching and the environment in the private SHS, after one year, she sought for admission in a public SHS and got admitted to second year at Kumbungu SHS on transfer from the private SHS.

She explained that she got raped by Chief Musah while going through the process to secure school uniform and other supplies from the school’s stores.

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