Nigeria: Legal Action Taken Against Islamic Teacher for Assault on Seven-Year-Old Pupil

Nigeria: Legal Action Taken Against Islamic Teacher for Assault on Seven-Year-Old Pupil

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

In a disturbing incident, a Senior Magistrate’s Court in Minna, Niger State, has ordered the remand of an Islamic teacher, Nura Suleiman, who allegedly caused severe injuries to a seven-year-old child through the use of an electric cable. The defendant, facing a three-count charge, pleaded not guilty during the court proceedings.

The case was brought to light when the Niger State Child Right Agency in Suleja received information about the Islamic teacher’s actions. According to reports, Nura Suleiman allegedly whipped the seven-year-old pupil, Isah Muazu, with an electric cable, resulting in injuries across the child’s body. The victim was promptly rushed to the Suleja General Hospital for necessary medical attention.

Inspector Emna Bassa, the police prosecutor, informed the court that this was not an isolated incident. The defendant was accused of similarly inflicting injuries on another Islamic pupil, Khalifa Mohammed, who was also seven years old, the previous year. The charges brought against Suleiman include causing hurt without provocation, cruelty to children, and ill-treatment of a child.

The police prosecutor referenced sections 246, 238 (a) of the Penal Code law, and Section 25 of the Niger State Child Right and Protection Law 2021, as amended, in justifying the charges. Although the defendant pleaded not guilty in court, during preliminary police investigations, he had admitted guilt, attributing his actions to the influence of the devil.

In response to the defendant’s not guilty plea in court, Suleiman’s counsel, Bawa Mijinyawa, orally applied for bail. However, the prosecutor objected, citing the national interest in the case due to the widespread circulation of images of the injuries on social media platforms.

The prosecutor advocated for the defendant’s remand in prison custody to allow for further investigation and case mention. Senior Magistrate Hajiya Yusuf, presiding over the case, granted the prosecutor’s request, directing that the defendant be remanded in prison custody. The case has been adjourned until February 19, 2024, for further proceedings.

This distressing incident raises concerns about child protection and the responsibility of educators in ensuring a safe and conducive learning environment. The legal proceedings will shed light on the gravity of the alleged actions and contribute to the ongoing discourse on safeguarding children from abuse within educational settings.

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