Kano State Police command on Thursday arraigned the proprietor of Hassan Gwarzo College, Professor Ibrahim Ayagi, and three others following a sodomy scandal that rocked the college recently.
Their arraignment comes on the heels of an investigation ordered by the Kano State government. The investigation was led by a high-powered Commission of Inquiry headed by a renowned academic. Following the inquiry, the school was temporarily closed for nearly three months.
Dr. Ayagi and three others were arraigned on an 8-count charge of criminal conspiracy, negligence, abetment, failure to provide information, and joint action among others.
In his submission, counsel to the accused, Barrister Abdulrazak Bagwai, told the court that he was vehemently opposed to the arraignment of his client given that it was occurring prior to the date fixed for the arraignment.
According to him, his clients were subjected to ill-treatment by the police despite the fact that the court had restrained the police from re-arresting his clients given that they were granted bail. Mr. Bagwai went on to ask that the court delay any arraignment until February 29, 2016, the date fixed by the court for the continuation of the hearing.
Disputing the claim made by Mr. Bagwai, the Police Prosecution counsel, Barrister S. O. Akwe, said there was never a time the accused persons were shabbily treated or unilaterally arrested. The prosecution counsel stressed that the accused could testify to the polite manner they received at the hands of the police during the investigation.
Mr. Akwe also said that the reason for the early arraignment was to draw the court’s attention to an additional charge being made against Dr. Ayagi.
After this heated exchange between the defense and prosecution’s counsels, the presiding Judge, Chief Magistrate Aminu Kabara ruled that the date for the continuation of the hearing of the case would remain as February 29.
The arraignment comes a day after the State government announced that the college should be immediately re-opened.
The State Commissioner of Information, Youths, Sports, and Culture, Muhammad Garba, disclosed the decision while briefing journalists on the outcome of the executive council meeting held at the government house.
He said that the State government withdrew the whopping N40 million paid for the Senior Secondary School (SSS) 3 students of the school to sit for Senior Secondary School Examination (SSCE) examinations at some private schools following its closure some months ago.
"This evening, after tabling issues at the executive council meeting, the State government has directed that with immediate effect, Hassan Gwarzo Secondary School should be re-opened following the sodomy allegation at the school," Mr. Garba said.
The State Commissioner went on to say that that the state government has resolved to issue measures and guidelines to the school management. The State government would make sure the school management abides by should they wish to continue teaching at the institution.
He further said that the government has directed the school management to provide adequate security measures in order to create a conducive atmosphere of learning for the students.
He assured those present that while the school has been re-opened investigations by the Nigeria Police Force and State Security Service (SSS) would continue until the mystery behind the alleged incident is unravelled.