A 13-year-old pupil of Cedarville Montessori School, Magbon Ibiye, Lagos, has sued her proprietress, Mrs. Kemi Omoyah and husband, Mr. Omoyah through a Lagos High Court, Yaba, for allegedly bullying her and violating her rights.
According to the suit filed through her mother and founder, Boys Lives Matter, Nkechi Macaulay, the teenager is demanding the sum of N5 million from Mr. and Mrs Omayah jointly as exemplary damages for the violation of her fundamental rights.
She also wants the sum of N1 million as special damages for the cost of the suit and the sum of N400,000 to cover the costs of her therapy sessions.
According to the girl, the award against her proprietress was in the interest of justice and for violation of her fundamental right to the dignity of her person, by maliciously subjecting her to circumstances wherein she was humiliated and embarrassed before all her classmates and members of other classes.
She claimed that the offence contravene her fundamental rights as guaranteed d by Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Section 10 of the Child’s Right Law of Lagos state, 2011, and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (as ratified and domesticated).
She said: “ I was invited alongside four of my classmates and at least four teachers, who began to quarrel with me, over a statement I made to another student in my class.
“I had told the student in question, months before, that a former student of the school had mentioned to me that a charm had been buried in the school.
“At the time, Mrs. Omayah told me that it was the Holy Spirit that told her that I had been saying that a charm was buried in the school, to other students of the school.
“Without giving me any opportunity to speak on the matter, she started hurling insults and accusations at me, in the following words, ‘you have a bad heart’ you are trying to bring down the school spiritually.’ You are possessed by evil spirits.
“She called me a witch, in furtherance of which, she said I was going to bring my mother down.”
“She further set up a panel consisting of herself, the teachers of the school, the school’s food vendor, while other students of the school were also invited to watch my trial. I was subjected to the most extreme form of embarrassment, harassment, bullying, trauma and torment, as those on that panel joined her to throw insults and unfounded accusations at my mother and me. I was not allowed to speak neither was I represented by my parents nor any adult, during the questioning.
“She never informed my mother, who is my surviving parent, of their plan to question me at any time, and made me, to sit through a hostile trial, without any adult overseeing my interests and ensuring my well-being. I was very scared, I felt harassed, traumatised, bullied and intimidated by her actions.”
However, the proprietress of Cedarville Montessori School, stated that last year Mrs. Macaulay harassed her with police for scolding her child over a comment she made regarding her school.