By Osahon Osahon
The Principal of Edo College, Benin City, Mr. Peter Edomwonyi, has been suspended by the state government over a disturbing video of abuse by some senior students of the college, who were writing their National Examinations Council (NECO) final examination.
The government also suspended the House Master for Akenzua Hall of Residence of the school, Mr. Oamen Stanley.
It would be recalled that the senior students, in the video, forced the junior students to remove their clothes and stay naked on their knees.
They went ahead to flog the helpless junior students with belts, after which they came down heavily on him with blows and sidekicks.
The brutalized bleeding, pleaded for mercy from their tormentors who were apparently unmoved as they continued with the brutality.
Although the school authorities went ahead to suspend the abusive, their action however drew the anger of the state government over the bad publicity image it brought on the state ministry of education.
The Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, in a statement on Tuesday, said all the students involved in the abusive behaviour have been handed over to the Ministry of Justice for investigation and prosecution in accordance with the Child Rights Law.
“Edo State Government has watched with disdain the disturbing viral social media video of abuse by students of Edo College, Benin City, the Edo State capital.
“The State Ministry of Education on enquiry discovered that the incident took place at the college premises and involved Senior Secondary School (SSS) students of Akenzua Hall of residence, who are writing their National Examinations Council (NECO) final examination.
“The disturbing video exposed the incompetence of the management of the school authority and the delinquent behaviour of the students who carried out the abusive action,” the statement read.
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Ogie who noted that the State Government is committed to maintaining a school environment that is safe for children, offered apologies to the victims of the abuse, their parents and members of the public.
According to him, the government has taken the following actions: “The Principal of Edo College, Mr. Peter Edomwonyi, has been instructed to proceed on suspension effective immediately.
“He is to hand over all property and assets of the school in his possession to the next most senior Vice-Principal of the school.
“He is to remain on suspension until the investigation of the incident is concluded and government provides further directives on the matter.
“The House Master for Akenzua Hall of Residence, Mr. Oamen Stanley, has also been suspended indefinitely, with immediate effect.
“All the students involved in the abusive behaviour have been handed over to the Ministry of Justice for investigation and prosecution in accordance with the Child Rights Law.
“The Edo State Ministry of Health is reaching out to the victims to ascertain the state of their health and provide the necessary support.”