Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has asked 10 Muslim scholars, community leaders and government officials to investigate the circumstances around the recent brutal flogging of five students of Musbaudeen Islamiya Arabic school in Ganmo in the Ifelodun local government area of the state.
The spokesperson of the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, disclosed this in a statement he issued on Tuesday, in Ilorin.
He said the committee will be chaired by a retired judge, Idris Haroon, and has, as members, the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Sa’adatu Modibbo Kawu; and the Special Assistant to the Governor on Religion (Islam), Ibrahim Dan Maigoro.
The other members are Hamzat Abdulraheem, Badmus Yusuf, Abubakar Imam-Aliagan, Mohammed Ghali Alaya, and Saudat AbdulBaqi, who are all Islamic scholars; and Balikis Oladimeji of the Federation of Muslim Women Associations of Nigeria (FOMWAN); Lawal Olohungbebe; and AbdulHameed Sanni (Secretary).
“The terms of reference of the committee include meeting with the affected students, their parents, and the school authorities on the circumstances around the corporal punishments meted to the three students.”
It will also “review the reward and disciplinary methods in such schools; and make recommendations to the government on how to prevent a recurrence of such in the state.”
The governor gave the committee one week to submit its report, beginning from its first sitting, Mr Ajakaye said.
The principal of the school had ordered the flogging of the students for allegedly holding a birthday party, consuming liquor and publishing the video footage of same on the social media.
A video of the students, including a girl, being viciously flogged before a gathering of fellow students ignited an outrage across Nigeria.
Following the widespread indignation, the state government announced a probe into the incident.
The government also announced the suspension of the school head and ordered the affected students taken to a public hospital.
The commissioner for education and human capital development, Modibbo Kawu, announced the government’s reaction to the incident through a statement.
“The government’s team carefully listened to the authorities of the Arabic school, the father of the sole girl in the video, and four other students involved in the unsavoury development.
“Regardless of the explanations of the authorities on the development, the self-confessed consent of the parents and regret of the affected students, the government seriously frowns at the harsh beating seen in the footage.
“Consequently, the government has directed the setting up of an investigative committee, comprising Muslim scholars, leaders and government officials, to look into the issue while the head of the Arabic school, who admitted to directing the punishment, has been asked to step aside pending the conclusion of the investigation.
“The government has also taken the affected students to a public hospital for proper medical examination and treatment. This is to ensure that none of them suffers any physical or psychological damage.
“The government appeals for calm while the committee does its work and submits a report for further action.
“The government commends the Ganmo Muslim community for the support given to the team.”