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Kwara Islamic cleric arrested for beating pupil to coma

A human right lawyer, Aishat Temin, has condemned the act of a cleric who allegedly beat a student to coma for stealing money from a local safe (piggy bank).

The police had arrested the cleric identified as Moshood Alabi, who allegedly beat up one of his pupils in his Quranic school to coma for stealing a locally made safe. 

The cleric, after beating the boy, also instructed three of the students to give the victim 10 strokes of cane each, which made him to fall into coma during the punishment.

Speaking in a radio programme on aired on Diamond FM 88.7 on Sunday, Temin said the law “does not allow the cleric to beat the boy or give him the power to order his students to beat up another student”.

She said, “The cleric has no such power to beat the students in his Quranic school. If the student commits an offence, he can give him light punishment; he has no power to beat him to an extent of inflicting injury on him. He even has no power to order students to beat their fellow students.”

Some of the contributors to the programme also suggested that the government should organise refresher courses to enlighten owners of Quranic schools and lessons in the state. 

A contributor, who identified himself as Sakariyau from Baboko in Ilorin, said government should organise seminar for owners of Quranic schools to let them know how to treat students put in their care.

The spokesman of the Kwara State Police Command, Ajayi Okasanmi, said the Police had arrested Moshood, adding that the arrest was carried out by officers of the Oloje Police Division after the case was reported.

The cleric has been on the run after the case was reported to the police by the National Human Right Commission, Kwara State branch.

Okasanmi said, “Though the cleric was on the run after discovering that the student had gone into coma, but our officers went to fish him out from his hideout.”

The PPRO said the boy had been revived and was recuperating at a private hospital in Ilorin. 

The case would soon be transferred to the Gender-Based Violent Unit of the Police Command in Ilorin.

Okasanmi said the cleric would be charged to court after the resumption of members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, who are currently on industrial action.

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