The claimant, Master Don-Davis Archibong (on blue sports wear) in a warm embrace with the defendants.
By Abasifreke Effiong
Parties in the alleged case of molestation of a Deeper Life High School student in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, have settled out of Court.
The parent of a Deeper Life High School student, Mrs. Debobrah Archibong, had sued two students and the school principal for alleged ‘molestation and forced starvation’ of her child, Don-Davis Archibong.
Speaking on Friday 13th May, Mrs. Archibong said parties have embraced peace, ‘that there is no more fighting’.
Deeper Life High School held a peace and reconciliation reception Master Don -Davis Archibong, in demonstration of the parties’ commitment to an out-of-Court settlement.
Both parties said the reconciliation did not involve any form of financial compensation.
The Dune understood that the peace and reconciliation meeting was one of the eight conditions given the parties by the Court under the terms of settlement.
In a peace and reconciliation reception organized by Deeper Life High School, the lead counsel to the School, Mr. Taiwo Kupolati SAN, commended the High Court Judge, Ntong Ntong, who initiated the peace process.
“It is to the glory of God that after two conferences, both parties and individuals concerned; the school, and the children involved, came together to reconcile.
“We got a consent judgement that we will come together to unite the students and let them know it is better to live a united life as they are the future of this generation. Today is to celebrate, and affirm the principle of peace.
“I want us to know that as parents we must seek and boldly enforce peace because he who does not have peace is not entitled to good life.
“I thank Deborah Archibong so much for agreeing to have this matter resolved at no financial cost because of the future of the children. All the bad memories and negative publicity are gone”, said Kupolati, shortly after the reception party.
At the occasion, Mrs Deborah Archibong, who spoke with newsmen shortly after a friendly football match organised in honour of her son, expressed joy as all the children involved in the case were alive to witness the occasion.
She recalled that her son, Don-Davis was enrolled for his secondary education at Deeper Life High School because of the sound moral standard and discipline the school had been known for.
She said: “I am honestly happy because all the children involved are alive and some parents watching us may be crying but I give God the glory. This is what the body of Christ is all about.
“For the parties that were involved which I am one of them, I would say we should all be on the learning side. We should learn to approach things quickly irrespective of who is involved.
“To be honest I am a business person and I know what it means for an organization to be dragged, especially when it is dragged wrongly. I will send an apology but before I do, I would like to say If they had taken it up as at when it was calm, it would not have gotten to this point.
“Taking it to the public brought us to where we are today. That drag was because nobody was giving me a listening ear. Don-Davis came to Deeper Life High school for discipline and high morals. And looking at the children in the school, you can see discipline in them.
“Let us forget that the devil came in, everything will be fine. The good news that I want to trend on social media is that I like the cooperation of teachers, the principal and every other person in the school. I see Christ in every one of them. I know that Deeper Life High school has come to stay”.
In his words, the lawyer who represented the claimant, Sampson Awoji, thanked Deeper Life High school for keeping to the terms of settlement.
Earlier in his remark, the State Overseer of Deeper Life Bible Church, Akwa Ibom Pastor Emmanuel Amaeze, who was represented by Pastor Timothy Adewuyi, urged everybody to learn how to live in peace.
He noted that the time for disagreement had passed, even as he described students of Deeper Life High School as people with distinction.
Highpoint of the peace and reconciliation meeting was the presentation of memorabilia, an AI (artificial intelligence) robotic kits, to Don-Davis Archibong as a parting gift from the Deeper Life High School.
This reporter recalls that Don-Davis’ parents in suit no: HU/197/2021 had sued two senior students of Deeper Life High School, Uyo Campus, Shalom Ibikunle and Ola Feyisetan, the Principal, Mrs. Ndidi Solomon and some teachers for abuse, molestation and neglect of their son while in the hostel even though medical report indicated that the student was not abused as his parents claimed.
But on 23 March, 2022, all the parties came together to have a consent judgement with terms of settlement which included that:
“The 1st Defendant shall at a date to be agreed in future between the Parties organize a Peace and Reconciliation Reception for the Claimant at Uyo Campus of the 1st Defendant with a Memorabilia presented to the Claimant-all at the expense of the Deeper Life High School, Uyo Campus.”
“The Claimant shall not institute any further Civil or Criminal action in future on the basis of the facts in the instant Civil suit No. HU/197/2021 and the aforesaid Criminal Charge Nos HU/164/C/2021 and HU/212/2021.”