Arrested final year secondary school pupils of Ireti Grammar School, Falomo, Lagos State, may face charges bordering on physical assault and attempted rape after police investigations, PUNCH Metro has learnt.
It was gathered that the pupils, if found guilty, might be sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment.
Our correspondent gathered that investigations had shown that some of the pupils were over 18 years.
Sources who spoke to our correspondent said more arrests would be made in the coming days as regards the incident, adding that the four arrested pupils were still under investigations.
One of the sources said the underaged pupils would face different punishment.
One Michale Matthew had posted on social media how some female pupils of Falomo Senior High School were molested by their fellow pupils from Ireti Grammar School in broad daylight upon the completion of their final exams.
Two of the perpetrators were identified simply as George and Abiodun.
Matthew described how the pupils chased the girls at the back of her office in the Obalende area on Wednesday, tearing up the skirt of one of the victims with a pair of scissors. Two boys had attempted to rape the girls to the cheers of other boys before the eyewitness raised the alarm.
“…I see pockets of people, actually pupils, and girls running with palpable fear on their faces. At this point, I quickly enter my car to leave so one doesn’t meet whatever the problem is and to avoid traffic too. And as we enter the car, I look a bit closely at a crowd of boys who have surrounded two persons on the floor who appear to be fighting. Their shouting overpowers any other sound and looking closely, I see the most unreal thing. It’s actually a boy trying to force himself on a girl with his trousers partly down and the boys are cheering him on.
“People are looking and some security guards in the office near us are recording it. I open my car in disbelief and shout at the boys to break it up, while shouting at my security and the second driver to assist me. I walk towards them and as I make my way towards them, I see another group and this time, they have cornered one of the girls who falls while running from them. In almost a surreal way, I am looking but not quickly processing.
“I see her kicked down, she bravely pushes herself up and another guy tries to clear her legs and she lunges at him and then a guy takes a pair of scissors in his hands and with one swoop, tears her skirt from the bottom and also a part of the black ‘spanx shorts’ she has on underneath…” the woman’s post read in part.
Apart from the police, the Social Welfare Department of the Lagos State Ministry of Youths, Sports and Social Development, the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) of the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Lagos State Deputy Governor, among others, were said to be following the case.
A source told our correspondent on Sunday that the police were still on the trail of other pupils involved in the act, adding that the Adeniji Adele Police Division was investigating the case.
He said, “The four arrested pupils have made their statements to the police, while efforts are ongoing to arrest other suspects. It is a serious matter and the state government is not taking it lightly.
“Pupils, who are of age, will be prosecuted after investigations. It is a criminal offence no doubt.”
The Coordinator of the DSVRT, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, said the agencies involved in the investigations would make their findings known.
She said, “But we will continue to senstise and engage communities, children and schools on sexual violence.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Olarinde Famous-Cole, said, “Investigation is ongoing into the incident.”
He was, however, silent on whether some of the pupils would be prosecuted or not.