With alledged threat to kill 30 students in a reprisal by the grieving family members of a victim of ‘Juju’ induced killing in an Ekiti school, the education authorities are in for a tough time resolving the crisis that arose over to the killing of a 16-year-old student of Ado Grammer School. ALO ABIOLA (Ado Ekiti) reports.
The staff and students of Ado Grammar School, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State are yet to get over the shock, occasioned by the killing of a students of the school identified as Mathew Favour.
Favour died at the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital, shortly after he was stabbed with a knife in the chest by one Kehinde Timilehin, another student of the school located along Polytechnic road in the state capital.
The incident, which occurred within the school premises on the said day, according to sources degenerated to terrestrial power contest following a disagreement between the two senior secondary school students.
Timilehin, had since been detained at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the police headquarters in Ado Ekiti.
The 16-year-old Mathew, who is of Ebira extraction in Kogi State, it was gathered, recently completed his apprenticeship as a motorcycle repairer.
A resident of the area, who identified himself simply as Adelaja, told LEADERSHIP Friday that he knew the deceased to be a gentle person.
He said, “Even as a student, he was still training as a motorbike mechanic and finished his apprenticeship three months ago.
“I have been living and working in this area for over four years. Some of the students of the school are known to be notorious and unruly in their behaviour.
“We even learned that there were some of them who are involved in gangsterism and cultism.
“Some years ago, it was reported that the students of the school attacked and beat up a corps member serving in the school. To adhere and conform to the instructions and directives of their teachers is fast becoming a burden on them. Something must be done about this.”
Mr Adelaja advised the state government through the state Ministry of Education to deploy security operatives to the school for surveillance during and after school hours.
He also suggested that the perimeter fencing of the school should be made to cover the entire land it is occupying and the bushy areas be cleared.
“The notorious ones among the students are hiding in the bushy areas at the back of the school to carry out their unwholesome activities.
“More security should be provided at the school, perimeter fencing completed and bushy areas within the premises of the school should be cleared so that there will not be any hiding place for the criminally minded ones,” he added.
The school principal, Mr Ebenezer Falayi, in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP Friday, said measures are being taken to forestall reoccurrence of such incident.
Falayi disclosed that part of the measure was to embark on thorough searching of bags, backpacks and lockers of the students for weapons and dangerous objects in every school from next term.
He said a report to intimate the state government had been sent to the state Ministry of Education.
The immediate step taken by the management of the school when the incident occurred was to invite the police, which responded promptly.
“Students were directed to remain at home for the rest of the week but teachers will be reporting for duties. The state government is on the same page with us.”
Falayi, however, disagreed with the insinuations that some of the students of the school belong to cult groups.
“There are no cultists in our school. The students are only unruly and stubborn. We learned they have been having issues with each other.
“Before the incident occurred, it was gathered that the students in question went home to fortify himself in preparation for the score they wanted to settle.
“One our major challenge is our second gate, the Ilupeju community behind the school insisted that it must be opened to students.
“It was not fenced before I came but through collaboration with a new generation bank, it was done.
“Our PTA and old students asked us to erect the gate again after it was pulled down. It had been re-erected several times after being destroyed but there are plans to close the gate down permanently,” he said.
On the ongoing first term examination for the students of the school, the principal said the students were to finish the exams on Friday, a day after the incident.
He, however, said that their tests would be used to make up for exams they were unable to sit for since the students have been asked to remain in their respective homes for now.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Police Command has revealed that the suspect, Timilehin, who stabbed his colleague to death, would be detained at the Juvenile Correction Centre.
The police public relations officer, Ekiti command, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, while speaking with newsmen in Ado Ekiti said the status of the suspect, who was 16 years when he committed the crime, remained an issue that would be determined by Ekiti Judiciary.
He said the office of the director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the state Ministry of Justice would determine whether the suspect would face prosecution or be taken to the Juvenile Correction Centre for detention.
“I want to say that the suspect’s fate will be determined by DPP, because being a minor, a lot of things would have to be taken into consideration.
“But as for us in the police, we are investigating the matter to be able to establish whether it was a case of murder or manslaughter.
“We are investigating the elements of the case, because by law, if you are less than 18, there must be special consideration for any offence committed.
“But we also have juvenile correction centre, so the DPP will study the outcome of our investigation and come up with the best alternative that would be in line with the law”, Ikechukwu stated.
However, adequate security measures have been taken to prevent carnage in the school by threat of reprisal attack as the school management in collaboration with the state government had agreed to shut the school for the rest of the first term session.
On why the school will remain shut, a source close to the school said, “First term is to end on December 17 and the students had almost wrapped up their first term examinations before the killing.
“The school is to be shut but the teachers will be working, because the victim’s family threatened that 30 students will be killed in the reprisal attack.
“It is not in any way safe for us to ask students to return to school now. They had almost finished their examinations before the incident happened.”
The school principal, Mr Falayi, had, while narrating how the incident occurred to journalists, last Friday, explained that the incident occurred around 2.15pm at a far section of the institution after the school had closed.
Falayi said the students had held closing session and had dispersed before the noise emanated from that troubled section where the boy was stabbed, before teachers were mobilised to the place to rush the victim to EKSUTH.
“This incident really saddened us, because it could have been avoided. What I gathered from students who were at the spot of the gory incident was that, the duo were arguing over who had superior power and the deceased had earlier gone home to bring all those weapons which could not pierce the suspect when used on him.
“I was told that the suspect later overpowered him and collected those weapons and stabbed the victim in the chest. Our teachers, including myself, my vice and registrar alongside other teachers who were resident on campus here rushed him to EKSUTH. We even took the suspect along.
“The victim was put on life support, but that could not help the situation, he died in the hospital. I had to quickly call the DPO of Odo Ado Police Station who reinforced his men and contacted police station at Oke Ila to prevent the suspect from being killed by the deceased’s highly enraged family members.
“The hospital insisted on doing the autopsy before releasing the corpse but the family resisted it. They later released the corpse to the family when it nearly caused trouble in the hospital.
“The police also took the suspect into custody but I had to beg for security beef up around the school when there were threats that 30 students would be killed in reprisal attack,” Falayi stated.
This incident really saddened us, because it could have been avoided. What I gathered from students who were at the spot of the gory incident was that, the duo were arguing over who had superior power
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