The propriety of corporal punishment in secondary schools has been raised to the front burner as a Junior Secondary School(JSS1) female student at Mary Immaculate Secondary School , Ado- Ekiti, Miss Gift Agenoisa, sued the Ekiti Government before a State High Court, seeking N15m in damages for being punished and suspended over indecent hair style she took to school.
Agenoisa filed a breach of fundamental human rights application in suit HAD/01/CR/2021 before an Ado-Ekiti High Court, claiming that her suspension from school infringed on her fundamental human rights. The suit was sworn to on her behalf by Mrs Odunayo Agenoisa.
The plaintiff described as “cruel and inhuman” the alleged treatment meted to her for coming to school with “indecent hairstyle.”
It would be recalled that on May 22, 2021, the plaintiff’s father and a Police Sergeant, Elijah, allegedly mobilised four armed policemen to the school to manhandle some teachers for scolding his daughter who was said to have come to school with an “indecent hairdo” against the school rules and regulations.
Joined in the suit are the school principal, Mrs. Oluwasanmi F.M (first respondent), the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Olabimpe Aderiye (second respondent), the Ekiti State Teaching Service Commission (third respondent) and the Ekiti State Government (fourth respondent).
In the affidavit attached to the originating summons, the plaintiff claimed that she was singled out of the School Assembly on May 22, and given 20 lashes of on the order of the school principal for “indecent hairstyle.”
In her originating summons deposed to by her counsel, Mr. Timmy Omotoso, and brought pursuant to Order 2 rules 1,3,4,5 and 6 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009 as preserved by Section 315 of the 1999 Constitution, the applicant demanded N15m damages for her suspension.
She also demanded her immediate reinstatement back to school with unfettered access to all services being rendered therein.
The plaintiff claimed that the beating she got that day resulted in bruises, life-threatening scars and bloodstains on her uniform, adding that she fainted and was rushed to the Police clinic in Ado-Ekiti, where she was resuscitated.
She claimed further that her letters of protest to the wife of Ekiti State Governor and some relevant government agencies were not responded to, hence, her resort to legal redress.
The plaintiff added that she was denied access to the school premises and her class on the orders of the principal since then.