Following reopening of Hassan Gwarzo Senior Secondry School that had been closed for almost 3 months over sodomy allegations, the Kano State Police Command on Thursday arraigned the proprietor of the school, Professor Ibrahim Ayagi, and three others before a court.
Their arraignment comes on the heels of an investigation ordered by the Kano State Government which led to the formation of a Commission of Inquiry to look into the case. Following the inquiry, the school was temporarily closed for three months after it was found culpable.
Prof. Ayagi and three others were arraigned on an 8-count charge of criminal conspiracy, negligence, abetment and failure to provide information among others.
In his submission, counsel to the accused, Barrister Abdulrazak Bagwai, told the court that he was vehemently opposed to the arraignment of his client given that it was occurring prior to the date fixed for the arraignment.
According to him, his clients were subjected to ill-treatment by the police despite the fact that the court had restrained the police from re-arresting his clients given that they were granted bail.
Mr. Bagwai went on to ask that the court delay any arraignment until February 29, 2016, the date fixed by the court for the continuation of the hearing.
Disputing the claim made by Mr. Bagwai, the Police Prosecution counsel, Barrister S. O. Akwe, said there was never a time the accused persons were shabbily treated or unilaterally arrested. The prosecution counsel stressed that the accused could testify to the polite treatment they received at the hands of the police during the investigation.
Akwe also said that the reason for the early arraignment was to draw the court’s attention to an additional charge being made against Prof. Ayagi.
After this heated exchange between the defence and prosecution counsels, the presiding Judge, Chief Magistrate Aminu Kabara ruled that the date for the continuation of the hearing of the case would remain as February 29.
The arraignment comes after the state government announced that the college should be immediately re-opened.
The State Commissioner of Information, Youths, Sports, and Culture, Muhammad Garba, disclosed the decision while briefing journalists on the outcome of the Executive Council meeting held at the Government House.
He said that the State government withdrew the N40 million paid for the Senior Secondary School SSS 3 students of the school to sit for Senior Secondary School Examination (SSCE) at some private schools following its closure some months ago.
Mr. Garba said: “After tabling issues at the executive council meeting, the State government has directed that with immediate effect, Hassan Gwarzo Secondary School should be re-opened following the sodomy allegation at the school.”
The State Commissioner went on to say that the state government had resolved to issue measures and guidelines to the school management.
The State government would make sure the school management abides by them should they wish to continue teaching at the school, the commissioner said.
He further said that the government had directed the school management to provide adequate security measures in order to create a conducive atmosphere of learning for the students.
He assured those present that while the school has been re-opened, investigations by the Nigeria Police Force and State Security Service SSS would continue until the mystery behind the alleged incident is unravelled.