Hello, my name Adebola and I am writing this story on behalf of my brother who is a SS3 student at APOSTOLIC FAITH SECONDARY SCHOOL, ADATAN, ABEOKUTA. This incident happened on the 15th of April, 2016 at about 11pm. The normal time for light out in the school is 10pm but due to the ongoing WAEC exams the school authorizes that light out be moved to 11pm to unable the students read for an extra hour.
It was reported that some students were playing ball in the dining hall which is on the first floor of the hostel building, during the one hour duration for night prep while others were reading on their beds in the hostel which is on the second floor of the same building.
The two house masters in charge of the male hostel were unable to control those playing ball, so they decided to take out the electricity fuse of the hostel. While they were at it, the students playing ball on the first floor had locked them out and on their return they were unable to gain entrance into the hostel.
One of the house masters in the person of THEOPHILUS SUNDAY jumped into the first hostel on the second floor through the window and bounced on the first person he saw, who happens to be my brother.
My brother said he was on his friend’s bed and they were both studying and suddenly they heard a rush from beside them, they got up to find out what was happening and saw that someone jumped in through the window, since it was dark and they couldn’t see the face, they assumed it was a student.
He said, suddenly someone (THEOPHILUS SUNDAY) started blowing him on the head, as he tried to get his balance; THEOPHILUS SUNDAY took a mop stick and starting using it to flog him all over his body till he was pushed to the ground. THEOPHILUS SUNDAY pounced on the next student and did the same.
The students were asking what they did to deserve the merciless beating but he refused to respond. This prompted my brother to call home to report the incident.
On arrival of some of our family members to the school, They met the principal in person of MR. BAMIDELE OLANREWAJU ONANUGA, who said he had heard about the case but has not seen any student with bruises.
My brother was sent for and bruises were all over his body, his arm, leg and two fingers were swollen. The principal told him to narrate what happened which he did. The principal then asked him what time was stipulated for them to sleep, he said he was rounding up on his reading when he heard the rushing sound, the principal cuts in saying it was due to his disobedience that has earned him the beating he got.
Adding that if he is a righteous person before God, reciting the verse in the bible that says, “say unto the righteous, that it shall be well with you” that if he was a born again Christian, he wouldn’t have been beaten. The principal did not tender any form of apology to the family members on behalf of the house masters neither did he allow the THEOPHILUS SUNDAY to say his own side of the story has requested by the family members of the student. Rather he said a panel will be set up and investigations will take place.
The principal also testified to the fact that my brother is a cool and easy going student with no records of truancy or bad behavior. This is not the first time THEOPHILUS SUNDAY will flog my brother and leave him with marks. The first time, he was told a panel will seat and investigate the case, all for people to start begging him including THEOPHILUS SUNDAY saying he should forgive and forget.
Let me remind us that these students are in their final year and they have been with this school for 6 good years with my brother inclusive and are current writing their final exams (WAEC). And the best sendoff gift to them is a merciless beating by a house master, not even with a cane but with blows and mop stick, how cruel.
It hurts more that the Principal, who is supposed to act in the capacity of a father, could say such things as disobedience earned him and others the merciless beating; the beating received doesn’t show a correctional method for disobedience rather it shows hatred, anger and frustrating for his job and the students.
And saying it’s because they are not righteous that’s why that deserve what they got makes me question the principal, because if they have been in your care for 6 good year and they are still disobedient and unrighteous, I wonder what positive impacts the school-which referred to as a missionary private school- has deposited into the lives of these children.
My question to the principal is; if the students deserved the beating for being unrighteous, the heartless and cruel house master that flogged them with mop stick and several blow, is he an example of righteous? If the voiceless students can’t trust the principal to give them justice rather he is twisting their words and using it against them, what examples his he showing the future leaders they are kept in his care?
These students are all minors, they are being cheated, mercilessly beating and rendered voiceless. Now church members are begging the students to speak with their parents not to take the case up, so that the case can be swept under the carpet. This one must not go unnoticed, THEOPHILUS SUNDAY did it before and if not stopped he will continue to do it.
My fellow Nigerians, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Welfare, Department of Child Welfare, Office of the Public Defender, Human Right Advocates; these children are crying for your help!!!