Head Teacher Detained for Allegedly Impregnating girl, 15

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By Saikujohn Barrie

A report has landed on my desk in the UK that the headmaster of the MCA Primary School Tambaiabalia, in one of the Chiefdoms in Falaba District, northern Sierra Leone, Daniel Wallal has been arrested and detained on Tuesday 7th February 2023 by the Mongo Police Division on allegations of impregnating a 15-year-old pupil in his school.

According to sources, this matter was reported at the Mongo Police Station on the 16th of January 2023 but the suspect was arrested but soon released apparently as a result of being shielded by some powerful people in the chiefdom.

My sources explained that after the report of the pregnancy surfaced, the JSS 2 schoolgirl was taken to one of the medical centers in Mongo to do a pregnancy test and it was discovered that she was indeed pregnant.

It is said that the girl’s father was initially refusing to cooperate with the Police as he had insisted that his daughter was not pregnant.

The source further explained that the schoolgirl was only able to explain the full story about her pregnancy and head teacher when her father was threatened to be locked up by the police if he continued to impede the investigation process.

 After the report at the Police Station, the head teacher was arrested in one of the villages, but he was soon bailed from police custody by one of the section chiefs.

 Since the head teacher was released from police custody on a murky bail condition, some women’s rights groups in the district have been demanding genuine and proper police investigations into the matter and for the matter to be charged to court to seek justice for the underage girl.

But it was only on Tuesday 7th February 2023 that the police in Mongo were able to re-arrest the head teacher for impregnating his pupil.

I am reliably informed that some village big men in the district see no harm in dating or ruining the lives of small school-going girls despite the efforts by the First Lady of Sierra Leone to protect the girls by asking men and boys to take their hands off the girls in the country.

Sources further stated that the issue of child abuse or teenage pregnancy is perversive in most parts of Falaba District.

In August 2022, a man from Karifasanya Village in Mongo Chiefdom defiled (virginated) his two girls, an Eight-year-old and a Fourteen-year-old.

The matter was reported to the police, but nothing was done about bringing the father to justice for the crime he committed against his daughters.

The girls are currently said to be in Kabala and are being assisted by some women’s rights groups operating in Koinadugu and Falaba Districts.

 After receiving these reports, I tried to contact some stakeholders in the affected communities in the district, but to no avail.

Also, my investigations revealed that the One Stop Centre which operates in both Koinadugu and Falaba Districts is working hard in addressing gender-based violence in the districts.

However, I spoke with a senior staff of the Sierra Leone Judiciary who said that there are challenges regarding child abuse in the local communities because most people are unwilling to pursue such matters in court.

The official said that some people are afraid of not being blamed for jailing either their neighbors or their relatives who have abused their children.

He said there is nothing much the judiciary can do if the police have not charged suspects to a court or fail to present strong evidence against suspects in courts.

In light of the challenges to bring perpetrators to book, the people of Falaba districts are calling on the government through the ministry of education and the office of the lady to focus on these unpleasant stories about child abuse and teenage pregnancy coming from the district.

I strongly believe that there are some stakeholders in the chiefdoms who in some ways aid and abate the ongoing abuse of the little school-going girls in the various chiefdoms in the district.

Ironically, most of these stakeholders have their daughters attending schools either in Kabala in Koinadugu District or Freetown but they care less about the negative effect of sexual molestation meted on girls from poor backgrounds in their villages and communities.

The Sierra Leone Police in Mongo must inform compromising parents of victims of sexual abuse that it is against the law for parents or anyone to cover up cases relating to child abuse.

The police must not take bribes especially to kill a child abused case.

I just want to let the Sierra Leone Police in Mongo and all those who have the penchant to interfere or obstruct the cause of justice in cases relating to sexual abuse that henceforth I am keenly following this issue in the district. It is on this note I say, We must Protect our girls.

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