Bosco Atiku, aged 36, who works as an educator at Kumari Primary School in Koboko district, has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.
The Yumbe chief magistrate’s court delivered this sentence on Wednesday, convicting Atiku of defiling a student in Primary Seven at Omgbokolo PS in Yumbe district.
Atiku, a resident of Mongoyo village in Ombachi parish, Lobule sub-county, Koboko district, brought the student to his residence within the school premises. It took about four days before the girl’s family and the administration of Omgbokolo Primary School, where she was enrolled, were informed of the incident.
Atiku was apprehended on March 27, 2023, at Kumari Primary School with the assistance of sub-county leaders from Arafa in Yumbe district. These leaders had been alerted by the school authorities at Omgbokolo primary.
During his appearance in court in Yumbe, Atiku denied the accusations, leading to a full trial with witnesses from both sides. He was given the opportunity to defend himself before Chief Magistrate Freddie Awacnedi issued the verdict on Wednesday.
Awacnedi criticized Atiku for wasting the court’s time, despite being aware of his guilt. He reminded Atiku that, as a teacher, he should have set a positive example in the community and protected the vulnerable young girl instead of engaging in a sexual relationship with her.
Awacnedi also pointed out that, as a working man, Atiku should have known that there are adult women available for relationships and marriage, rather than exploiting an underage schoolgirl. He emphasized that the Teacher’s Code of Conduct explicitly forbids teachers from marrying their students, as teachers are expected to act as parental figures to their pupils.
The Chief Magistrate stated that the eight-year sentence serves not only as punishment for Atiku but also as a deterrent to other teachers who might consider engaging in similar misconduct.
Koboko district education officer Wayi Dragamulai praised the court for delivering justice in this case. She stressed that the role of a teacher is to support students in their learning and protect them from all forms of abuse in society.
Yumbe district probation officer Toma Mustafa noted that child marriages are prevalent in the district, although they often go unreported. She attributed this problem to parental support for such marriages, making it challenging to combat because many consider it normal.