The management of the Federal Government College, Ijaniki, Lagos State, has denied allegations of covering up some students who were caught running away from school to accommodate female classmates in a hotel for sex games.
The principal, Ms. Tofunmi Akamo, who spoke to our correspondent on Wednesday, said that the students, in total six, were picked up from the hotel by the school, adding that the incident happened once.
PUNCH Subway had reported that some boarders jumped the school fence with their female counterparts and stayed in hotels for sexual pleasure.
It was also reported that for more than three sessions, including the just-concluded first term, some of the students left the school without being noticed.
But the principal said that the incident of students running away from school to stay in a hotel happened once.
He claimed that the school management noticed the absence of the students during an urgent roll call at the hostel.
She said: “Our job is to mold them and we don’t expect everyone to behave all the time. So when they misbehave, it is our duty to make the necessary correction.
“They called me from the school that did a roll call on Sunday and it was discovered that some students were not in the hostel.
“So, that Monday morning, they called their parents to confirm if they were home and the parents said they weren’t home. Parents came to school; we were all searching and investigating what could have happened.
“One of the parents of those girls told us that the girls went to the hotel, jumping over the fence on Sunday. We went to the hotel to evacuate them. Five were evacuated; two boys and three girls.
“When they came to school, we asked them to write reports; it was through the report that we even found out that there was another girl who left on Monday to go back to school, while others were still staying at the hotel.
“We made them write their reports and they faced a disciplinary committee, which gave a verdict on what should be done to them according to the guidelines the ministry gave us.
“The children are currently on indefinite suspension; that is the recommended guideline for them. We usually involve their parents and deliver such letters to them and their children. The girls and boys are no longer in the dormitories. That is the only incident that happened and it happened two or three weeks before we vacated this last term.”
Akamo described the allegations that the students were using drugs as unfounded.
“At the end of the last session, when they were writing an external exam, we found out that some children were not in the hostel during the roll check and we found out that they usually went to a nightclub around our school.
“My head of security went there around 9 p.m. and at that time they had not arrived at the club. So, the club owner collected my CSO’s number to inform him.
“At 11 pm, they called my CSO and at 1 am we brought about 10 of them back to the school. One of them was my assistant director and we immediately had an assembly; I took them all out and took the badges off the prefects.
“I also asked them to get out of the dormitories; but they could be coming to take their external exams, which they were taking at the time. I told them that they could no longer stay in the hostel.
“There is no record of anyone getting pregnant as a student. We knew that one of the girls had a million naira in her account. I’m sure this kid has been showing all these things at home. It can’t be that it was inside the school that he learned how to go about making money with sex.
“The only time we had a pregnancy problem at school was a blind girl. The lady became pregnant during COVID-19 in a place where she used to go to play with people. After we did a test and found out that she was pregnant, we invited her father over and she left the school. I told her that she couldn’t stay in school because we are educating girls and not mothers-to-be.
“The PTA president’s claim that one of the students got another student pregnant is not true. There is nothing like that; I’m not aware and if that happens I will know.”
The global president of the school’s Alumni Association, Toun Aderele, said the school’s management committee, which included all school stakeholders, had a responsibility to make decisions on such issues.
Aderele added that the committee’s recommendation was always sent to the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja for finalization.
He also regretted that some parents have been frustrating the efforts of the school authority to instill discipline.
She said: “There is a lot of resistance from parents. In fact, there are times when parents question the authorities why they should take their children out and why they should make a certain decision.
“The alumni association is always behind management to make sure they live up to expectations. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the director in this matter; she has excelled as a director, a mother and has made all the necessary decisions ”.
Executive Director, Special Duties, National Association of Nigerian Students, Oladimeji Uthman, said the student body would form a committee to look into the matter.
Uthman described the act allegedly committed by the students as barbaric and discouraging.