By Andy Chukwu
Mallam Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education, on Tuesday, confirmed that a police report confirmed that a student was sexually assaulted by a staff of the FCT (Abuja) School for the Deaf just as he denied that the allegations of cannibalism, sucking of human blood and existence of a cult at the school.
The minister said this in Abuja after receiving the report of the special committee of investigations on allegations of sexual abuse of vulnerable minors at the special school managed by the FCT Administration.
.Adamu said the investigation, which was as a result of a petition written by a parent, Dr. .Hannatu Ayuba alleging, among others, the sexual harassment of her son at the school, was carried out by 17-member joint committee made up of staff the ministries of education and FCT, security agencies and medical practitioners.
“A 17-member committee with membership drawn mainly from external stakeholders was constituted with the target of establishing the medical condition of Imran Kanun to determine the alleged abuse and ascertain whether similar abuses were prevalent in the school,” he said.
The minister said the committee was also tasked to ascertain the veracity of other claims such as murder, cannibalism, cultism, substance abuse, poor feeding and poor care. But he was unhappy that Mrs Ayuba went to the media first before complaining to the ministry and for not appearing before the committee to shed more light on her allegations despite several invitations extended to her.
”Rather than laying her grievances with either the permanent secretary or the minister, she went to the media and the news broke in the Human Rights Radio,” he said.
He also said security reports did not lend any credence to the allegations alleged to have taken place in the school or in Kuje area. He explained that a police report submitted as part of the committee’s report revealed that no parent reported any missing child or children dying in the school at least for the past five years.
However, Adamu said the police report contained in the committee’s report stated that they were able to obtain a confession from Sani Filo, the alleged abuser of Imran Kanun and a staff of the school.
”The police said Filo admitted abusing the child and they have since commenced prosecution and remanded Sani Isah Filo in Keffi Prison,” he said.
On allegations of poor feeding and children eating faeces, the minister said the committee discovered that children were reasonably fed and that there was no evidence of malnutrition as observed and confirmed by an independent medical team.
“The medical team, which comprised of twelve doctors from both the public and private sectors, carried out a random medical examination on 170 out of the 630 children of the school and did not find any evidence to support these claims,” the minister said.
However, Mrs Ayuba, an oncologist, said she didn’t appear before the investigative committee because there was no need as the Police has completed its investigations and issued reports on the matter. Also, she felt it would be a repeated traumatic experience for her and her son.
“When the committee invited me to appear before them, I wrote to them that the police already conducted a comprehensive interrogation and that asking me and my son to appear before the committee is subjecting me and my son to further trauma,” she said.
She is appealing to the authorities to provide an inclusive education system for children with special needs at the primary school level.
”I want my son to learn with the other kids in class. If they can achieve it in secondary schools, the government should find a way to make it work in primary school,” she said.
Mrs Ayuba said the medical report from the National Hospital, Abuja and the police confirmed that her son was abused and assaulted.