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Kwara Madrasat: VP reveals how students fill soft drink bottles with alcohol

By Jimoh Sulyman
The Panel set-up by the Kwara State Government, over the recent incident of students beating at Musbaudeen Islamic School, a Madrasah at Ganmo in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, has met with the members of the school authority and the parents of the pupils.
According to a video surfaced online, which the National Pilot obtained from the Facebook page of Balqees Oladimeji, a journalist and one time National Vice President of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), who happens to be a member of the panel, Professor Hamza AbdulSalam introduced the members of the panel led by Hon Justice Idris Haroon, a retired Grand Khadi of the Kwara State Shari’ah Court of Appeal to the stakeholders, Other members of the panel are Prof Badmas Lanre Yusuf, Prof Abubakar Aliagan, Dr Ghali Alaaya, Alhaja Balqees Oladimeji, Senior Adviser to the Governor on Religious Matters, Alhaji Danmaigoro among others.
Also with them are members of the community, including; Alhaji Abdullateef Sayyouti, Alhaji Kamaldeen Moyosore and Sheikh Atanda Raji who is the Chief Imam of Ganmo.
In his address to the people, Justice Haroon warmly welcomed everyone to the gathering, before stating the reason for the meeting, which according to him is to deliberate on the issue at hand, concerning the flogging of some students of the school, which has gained prominence in the media space.
He said, “Our coming here today is because of the recent occurrence, that happened on 6th of this month and other things that happened thereafter”.
He pointed at the social media as the major contributor to the widespread of the story, saying, “the world has become a single space, whereby once a thing is posted on the social media, everyone all over the globe can see it, the noises about this incident is because the video went online and it is out there for all to see”, he said.
The retired Justice also admonished the people to always find out the truth about any report they get before making judgement, saying that, “Al Quran says that when a report is brought to us, we should investigate whether it is true or not”.
“The noises in the media space gave the Kwara State Governor a concern and we Muslims must know the reason why he felt so concerned.
“Some people might be wondering why there is so much complaints about what happened, but at times, deeds that we trivialized might be very severe in the sight of Allah, for example a person that was admitted to the paradise just for giving water to a dog.
“Our works here are in stages, in the stage we’re now, our discussion might require us coming back, then, it might not need the attention everyone, but those that are directly involved hence we want the cooperation of every one of us”, he said.
Haroon also advised everyone to be conscious of Allah in all the testimonies they will be giving, because on the Day of Judgment, we will all be grasp of Almighty Allah and we won’t be able to escape.
In other part of the video, the retired Honourable justice gave a stern warning that the discussions at the meeting must not be made public especially on social media, until the government makes it public by itself, threatening to charge anyone found wanton to court.
“Do not post what we’re saying here on the social media without the government putting the outcome of the sitting out to the public, because anyone caught doing so will be charged to court, we won’t allow anyone to jeopardize this process”, he said.
The Islamic Jurist stressed that the panel is going to meet with the students, and all those involved will be met as well, also we’re here to meet with the school teachers, and the parents of the students and we won’t be wasting any more time.
He also made it known that, “The government has given us a week to conclude everything, so we will want to make it as fast as possible”.
The Vice Principal of the school, AbdulRasak AbdulKareem had earlier disclosed that some of the beaten students had revealed how they refilled bottles of soft drinks with alcohol.
Also in his statement, he said, “We the teachers were not aware of what happened when the students committed the offence, it was the parents of the students that called our attention, complaining that their children which they left in our care are already engaging in things that we don’t want them be involved in, which is the reason why they were brought to school from their respective towns in the first place.
“We found it hard to believe at first, until they sent us the videos that showed all they did at the party and how they were drinking; the videos were sent to us by the parents, who wanted us to take the necessary disciplinary measures.
“We interrogated the students and they confessed that they truly committed the offence whereby the parents said that the only thing that will satisfy them is if we punish them and that is what will preserve the image of our school.
“And what they did, being students learning the teachings of Al Quran and the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad, really made us angry and that is why the punishment meted on them was that severe, that is not our usual manner of punishing the students.
“The reactions of the parents and our own anger, that all our efforts over them is being taken down the drain ,that made us take the step that we took, before we later realized that the punishment we gave to them was quite extreme”, the Vice Principal submitted.
Justice Haroon asked if it was the parents that truly sent the videos and asked for the students involved to be duly punished, Vice Principal answered in affirmation.
Haroon also asked that, “When did it happened and when were you informed? “.
AbdulKareem replied that “We heard about it on Wednesday and we did our investigations on Thursday, but the punishment was carried out on Saturday”.
The panel also asked that, “you said you were really angry, how did that happen and what sort of anger is that? “.
AbdulKareem replied that, “the anger was because they are students of religion and we have expectations that they will be source of peace for our religion in the future and also the parents that called us and sent us the videos sent it all the way from Ogun state stating their disappointments, that they thought Ilorin is a place of Islamic value, is a place where in a recalcitrant child will change his ways but it is in this same Ilorin that they were engaging in such immoral, hence it was the bad impression their actions has created about the city of Ilorin that infuriated us”.
Also Prof. Hamza while quizzing the Vice Principal ,stated that, “in the video, we saw that they were sitting at the table facing each other, where one of them covered her head, while one was standing, holding a bottle of beer, those on the other side were only taking ordinary bottles of soft drinks.
“There is nothing that can confirm to us that they all drank alcohol ,even the one holding a bottle of beer, we can’t ascertain that he truly drank from the alcohol ,it seem it was the accusations of the parents that infuriated you not that you wanted to correct the students.
“If you wanted to apply the Sharia of Islam on them, there are guidelines for punishing each offences such as taking alcohol, stealing and fornication, but in Islam, before you accuse some one of any offence, there are steps to be taken before the person can be punished.
“The punishment meted on the students is not like those that committed fornication nor alcoholism, but it is because the parents saw a video and complained about their conduct and that made you livid.
“What I’m saying in essence is that, you as an Islamic Cleric, despite the fact that Islam has set aside guidelines for punishing different offenses but you didn’t make your findings on them”, he said.
Vice Principal however explained that, “what really compounded our anger to that extent was that, when the parents complained to us and like I have said earlier, we made our findings on Thursday before we gave the punishment on Saturday.
“In our discovery when the students know that we’re going to flog them, the students that committed the offence later sent another clip to the social media, saying that they don’t care, saying that they didn’t do more than drinking of alcohol and no punishment can hurt them ,it was their statement that made the school more angry”, AbdulKareem noted.
He also added that, “it was the parents that informed the teacher, who informed me, and I was the one that instructed other students to flog the erring students”
Haroon asked that, “why can’t the teacher punish them by himself, under Sharia if your wife Offends you, will you ask your brother or your servants to correct her, so why did he ask the students to be beating them?”
Abdulkareem in his response, said that “We asked the students to beat them because we teachers don’t want to go through the stress of beating them ourselves”.
Justice Haroon also asked that, “do you know that the act of asking students to beat up their fellow students might result in fight breaking out among the students which might be very dangerous when they meet each other outside the school premises?”.
The Vice Principal answered that they didn’t think in that direction.
Haroon also asked that, “Beating a student to the extent that they had cuts on their back, do you understand that you’re inflicting injuries in their body and minds, coupled with what is going on in the country at the moment, whereby some people under various guises are slaughtering other people, to extent that one will be wondering if they have no human feeling at all”, the Islamic Jurist inquired.
Prof Hamza noted that, “There is no one that heard what the students did that wouldn’t be astounded also there is no one that sees the punishment inflicted upon them that wouldn’t be touched by it, in fact the same person that was astounded on hearing the offence committed that will be bemused by the punishment apportioned.
“Had it been you wanted to use Sharia, you will firstly stratify them by the severity of their offense, you won’t punish them alike, may be one of them was just present at the place without taking any alcohol, so the beating is not good”, the professor said.
Justice Haroon asked if the school has a committee that listen to such matters
“On Saturday morning, we held a meeting in the school committee but we didn’t involve anyone from outside the school “, the VP replied.
Prof Hamza said, “You member of staff just converge yourselves in the office to discuss an issue you just heard and you took your decision but you don’t have secretary that will write the minute of the meeting, to record the topic discussed and the decision of the school”.


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