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Kano sodomy case stalled for six months

By Abubakar Haruna Muhammad -The Nigerian Voice, Kano

The transfer of the former Presiding Judge of Chief Magistrate Court 20, Chief Magistrate Aminu Kabara has stalled the Sodomy trial involving a Kano renowned Professor, Ibrahim A. Ayagi and three others for six months, It was learnt.

Professor Ibrahim A. Ayagi, the proprietor of a school, Alhaji Muhammad Bashir Jimo, Principal and Kabir Sa’ad and Ado Umar, Security men were arraigned before the court on January 1, 2016 in connection with alleged sexual assault on some students of Hassan Ibrahim Gwarzo Secondary School, Boys section, Kano state.

They were accused of eight-count charge of criminal conspiracy, joint act, arbitration, negligent conduct, wrongful restrain, cruelty to children, screening of an offender and failure to leak information to public servant.

Some parents alleged that their children were sexually abused in the school sometimes in October last year by yet-to-be identified persons.

According to the prosecution counsel, Barrister S. O Edwin, Professor Ayagi was also accused of gross indecency and public nuisance in a separate First Information Report (FIR).

The then Presiding Judge, Chief Magistrate Aminu Kabara fixed February 29, 2016 for mentioning of the case. But following the transfer to another court, the case was stalled until recently when another judge was posted.

Checks at the court revealed that the case was started afresh by the newly posted Judge, Chief Magistrate Muhammad Jibril.

A source at the registry unit of the court hinted our reporter that, the transfer of the former judge, chief magistrate Kabara stalled the trial for some months.

However, the new Judge, Chief Magistrate Muhammad Jibril has fixed June 28, 2016 for continuation of the case, but today, the court was unable to sit due to unknown reasons.

The school has since been re-opened by the Kano state government.

One of the parents of the affected students, who pleaded for anonymity, alleged that the case is being deliberately frustrated by the government.

He said We have left everything to God the Almighty. We have been cheated but we all know that there would be a day when all of us would be asked to account for our deeds and on that day a fair and objective judgment would be heard.

Those that are culpable would face the consequences of their actions.

He regretted that for now the affected families have the believe that justice would not be done to them, hence decided to leave the matter to God the Almighty.

It would be recalled that sometime in October last year, some parents whose children were schooling at Hassan Ibrahim Gwarzo boarding school (boys section) have raised alarm over alleged sexual assault on their children.

According to a report aired by a Kano based private radio, Freedom Radio, some students of the school were reported to have been carnally abused by unknown perpetrators which the school authority later put the blame on the students; saying that the students are the ones at fault because they refused to report the matter to the school management.

But the proprietor of the school, Professor Ibrahim Ayagi, described the report as work of some mischief makers, who were determined to destroy the good image of the school, but saying we leave everything to Almighty.

However, he confirmed that about five JSS 1 students had complained to the school authority twice that the first week they resumed to the school, an unidentified person had tried to release their trousers in the night but quickly disappeared when he realized that the students were about to raise alarm, the principal narrated.

He also confirmed that on the second week of resumption, the same students have reported similar case to the school management. Shortly after the unfortunate incident, Kano state government has shut down the school and set up a 14-man investigative committee to investigate the matter.

The committee headed by the former Vice Chancellor University of Maiduguri, Professor Abubakar Mustapha was given only two weeks to submit its report to the government.

The committee was mandated to identify all victims of the alleged abuse as well as establish the extent of the abuse, identify the culprits involved, establish the level of their culpability, investigate knowledge of the school management on the cases and establish its culpability or otherwise.

The committee was also empowered to recommend the appropriate action to be taken by government on the matter.

However, before the expiration of its dateline, the committee requested for additional time, a request which was granted by the state government. But it took the committee months before it submitted its report secretly.

Also, on the very day the Proprietor of the school, Prof. Ayagi and three other officials of the school were arraigned, government directed the re-opening of the school.