The Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) has sent a petition to the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, requesting for prompt intervention in a recent incident where some members of the group were unjustly detained in a Lagos school, Igbobi Junior High School in Somolu on the instruction of the school Vice Principal on Academic.
The incident occurred on the 3rd of October, 2019, when some members of the body visited the school to investigate some of the reports from some parents.
The petition signed by the Executive Director, Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak, with the title “Detention of Human Rights Monitoring Team Inside School Premises During Investigation of Alleged Lack of Chairs for Students;
A Call For Necessary Action And Worthwhile Compensation For The Office” reads in part:
“We hereby bring to your notice, a recent humiliating experience by some members of the above organisation at Igbobi Junior High School in Shomolu, Lagos State on Wednesday 3rd of October, 2019.
The investigating Rights Monitors crew were detained within the school premises for allegedly taking pictures of students sitting on classroom floors, during class periods due to lack of enough chairs and tables.”
The Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA), a registered N.G.O with the name HURMA Global Resources Initiatives is a mass based organization committed to equity and justice in its service to humanity. An investigating team led by the Executive Director, Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak, decided to visit the school unannounced on the said date, to investigate some complaints brought to HURMA office by some parents in Somolu, who reported that their children are made to sit on the floor due to lack of Chairs and Tables. Moreso, it was reported that the children are always sent to inform their parents that unless they bring those furnitures, they will remain in that condition through their complete academic periods.”
“While the leader of the team, Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak was requesting to meet with the school principal, after official signing in at the gate, a member of the investigating team, Abd Hadi Adeyemi, was alleged to have entered one of the classrooms and took some pictures. This was however cautioned by Comrade Buna, the team leader.
One of the school teachers led the team to the Principal’s office but he was not on sit and they were attended to by 2 vice Principals, admin, Mrs. Sofoluwe and Mr. Ogunshakin.
The two Vice Principals before attending the reason for the unscheduled visitation, insisted that photograph allegedly taken, if any, must be deleted. On this, the phone was searched and all related photos were deleted. They later addressed the reason for the visit but denied the alleged sitting on floors and maintained that Lagos State government supplies all needed furnitures to school without delay.”
When asked if there was any challenge presently faced by the school, Mr. Ogunshakin replied that only the Parents Forum discuss that and the Chairman of the Parents Forum may be contacted.”
The discussion was going smoothly until a woman, who simply identified herself as Vice Principal on Academic came and began all sorts of attitude and ultrances to attack the Human Rights Monitoring team. All efforts to explain that all issues were already addressed by the two Vice Principals fell into deaf ears.
She insisted that the phone should be rechecked and this was also done. She despite that, said she did not regard the intervention of the 2 Vice Principals on admin, and proceeded to insist that the entire team be detained in the compound.
While trying to leave the premises peacefully, she rushed to the gate to instruct that the gate be locked.”
Some students were also encouraged to hooligantly challenge the team but got persuaded when explained to that the exercise was for the good of their future.
After some minutes of detention, the investigating team were released on the intervention of the good mannered Vice Principals.”
A request to enter the classrooms to officially confirmed the alleged lack of Chairs was made before leaving the premises, but this was refused (although the pictures were later gotten same day, in our own professional way).
Attached with this letter are photographs of the denied act of forcing the school children to sit on the floor by school management.”
In conclusion, HURMA demands prompt intervention of the governor to investigate the incident and take immediate necessary actions.
“We want your Excellency to use your good office to investigate the above incident and do necessary justice without delay.”
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