The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Tuesday, said the allegations of cannibalism, sexual abuse, sucking of human blood and existence of a cult at the School for the Deaf, Kuje, Abuja was unfounded and baseless.
Mr Adamu, however, confirmed that a police report as part of the investigations confirmed that a student was sexually assaulted by a staff of 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 FCT (Abuja) school for the deaf.
The minister said a petition was received from Hannatu Ayuba alleging, among others, the sexual hasrassment of her child at the school, a special school owned and managed by the Abuja administration.
He said a joint committee of the ministries of education and FCT was set up with the inclusion of security agencies to ascertain the veracity of the petitioner’s claim.
“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 committee was also tasked to ascertain the veracity of other claims such as murder, cannibalism, cultism, substance abuse, poor feeding and poor care.
He said the Federal Ministry of Education had told Mrs Ayuba that the committee had submitted their report.
”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.
The committee recommended that CCTV should be installed in all special schools to help in monitoring the schools.
The minister said security reports did not lend any credence to the allegations alleged to have taken place in the school or in Kuje area.
According to the minister, 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.
“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.
Mr 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,” Mr Adamu 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.
Imran’s parents didn’t appear
The minister expressed worry over the petitioner’s failure to appear before the committee despite several invitations extended to her.
“We still invite Dr Hannatu (Ayuba) to come forward and shed more light on her allegations but she did not come,” he said.
Dr Ayuba’s reaction
In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Mrs Ayuba, an oncologist, said she referred the committee to police reports on the matter.
“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.
According to her, what I want is an inclusive education system for children with special needs.
”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 ”my son was abused and assaulted”
The news of the irregularities in the school was broken on Brekete Family, a radio programme in February.
Mrs Ayuba and Salamatu Maina, Imran’s mother and grandmother respectively, for over an hour on the radio programme gave sordid details of what allegedly happened to their ward – to the utter amazement of listeners.
Since then, the school fe deaf in Kuje area council of Abuja has come come under public scrutiny with many residents calling for action against its management.
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