Police beat up headmistress, detain 10-year-old pupil over stabiliser

The head teacher of Top-Teez Nursery and Primary School, Ojodu, Ifo, Mrs. Ayodeji Orojo, has yet to recover from the injuries she sustained after she was allegedly beaten up by some policemen attached to the Ojodu Abiodun Police Division, Ogun State.

Orojo, who is in her 40s, was allegedly assaulted together with the school’s female receptionist, as the policemen pushed their way to arrest a 10-year-old Basic 5 pupil at the school.

The police were said to have got information that the pupil, identified as David, knew the man who stole a stabiliser belonging to the Divisional Police Officer.

The head teacher told NationReformer.com that the incident happened around 10am on Friday, adding that she had yet to resume work since the attack because she was on medication.

She said, “Around 10am on Friday, January 26, 2018, I was in my office when I heard the lady who attends to visitors at the gate screaming my name. She sounded terrified.

“As I got to the doorstep of my office, I sighted two hefty men. They were in mufti. I walked straight to them and said, ‘Hello sirs, how may we help you? I am the head teacher here. Who are you and who do you want to see?’

“One of them retorted, ‘Madam, if you don’t get out of my way, I will slap you now.’ That was when I knew they were in the school to cause trouble. Because they were not in uniform and they did not look like any of my parents, I decided to stand my ground.

“I told them that they would not go upstairs because classes were on. I told them that if they wanted to see anyone, they should tell me and I would bring the person downstairs. The man said I was trying his patience.

“I told him, ‘Sir, if you cannot tell me why you are here and who you are, you cannot go upstairs. This is a school.’ He elbowed me on the chest and pushed me out of the way.”

She explained that the two policemen ordered the pupil’s sister, whom they had earlier arrested, to lead them to David’s classroom.

Orojo said the policemen barged into the classes, shouting, ‘Where is the criminal?’, as terrified pupils cried, which caused commotion in the school.

“They came downstairs with the boy. To have evidence, I tried to take some pictures. They wanted to take my phone from me, but I resisted them. They beat me up,” she added.

A worker at the school, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said six policemen invaded the school’s premises, adding that while two were in plainclothes, two uniformed men stood at the main gate. Two others, who wore T-shirts, reportedly mounted the school’s second gate.

“I was going to buy food for the children when I saw the policemen. They said they were in school to see a child. I called the woman who mounted the gate to assist them in meeting the head teacher.

“An argument ensued between them and the woman. They pushed the two of us away and forced the gate open. The woman sustained injuries in the hand. They were saying, ‘If you allow the criminal to go, we are going to deal with all of you’.

“While leaving, one of them held the head teacher’s hands, and the second man held her by her two legs. They carried her, hit her on the floor and  gave her fist blows,” she added.

NationReformer.com learnt that the victim was taken to a medical centre in the community, but she was referred to the General Hospital, Ijaiye.

The doctors were, however, said to have rejected her, demanding a police report or the presence of a policeman.

“I have never heard such a thing in my life that if policemen beat up a person, the person will need a police report to get treatment. The unfortunate thing is that those who beat her up came from Ojodu Abiodun division, which is the nearest police station to the school. So, where are we going to report?

“I begged them to at least give her some form of treatment because she cannot hold herself together. She is over 40 and for a person of such age to be brutalised is unimaginable. But they refused, saying without a police report, they cannot do anything,” a top management official of the school, who did not want to be named, said.

Orojo said she was disappointed because she was a registered member of the hospital.

It was learnt that she was taken to her house and was placed on self medication.

NationReformer.com gathered that the victim had already resigned from the school due to the incident.

David’s mother, Elizabeth Emeka, said she was away when her son was arrested, adding that she paid N19,000 for his bail.

“He saw a boy he knows in the area with a stabiliser which belonged to the DPO. The boy told him to assist him to carry the stabiliser and he helped him without knowing the owner.

“He was kept in the police station from morning till 10pm. The policemen first asked me to pay N9,000 and that I should come to take him on bail at 6pm. When I got there by that time, they said they needed additional N10,000 and I should return by 10pm. That was when he was released,” she said.

The Chief Medical Director of General Hospital, Ijaiye, Dr Kayode Oladehinde, said he was not aware of the head teacher’s rejection.

He said, “The policy of this hospital is that if anybody is injured, they are treated; even if they are brought by passersby. As I speak to you, we currently have a gunshot injury patient and he is being treated. The best we do is to call the police while such treatments are on. We don’t demand police report from patients, rather, we write to the police. I doubt it can ever happen.”

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Tunde Ipaye, said the hospital attended to over 12,000 patients every month, wondering how it could cope if it demanded police reports from patients.

The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Modupe Mujota, said she was not aware of the incident and promised to react after getting details.

She had yet to do so despite getting the details through a text message from our correspondent.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, in his reaction, recalled that the police station was attacked by some hoodlums recently during which some valuables were stolen.

He said the police got information that a stabiliser, which was among the stolen items, was found in the pupil’s compound.

He said further investigation showed that the suspect was in school.

“The policemen thought the suspect was a teacher at the school, but on getting there, they discovered that it was a pupil. The mistake the woman made was that while this was on, she was filming the officers. But she was not touched. The proprietress of the school also informed me that the matter has been settled as the DPO has apologised for the mix-up,” he added.