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A-G to prosecute Adisadel student

Local News

11 months ago
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The police have initiated investigation for possible prosecution in a case in which a student of Adisadel College is seen bullying a fellow student in a viral video.

The action of the police is on the advice of the Office of the Attorney-General after the issue became public.

The police yesterday visited the school premises as part of the investigation, with a Principal State Attorney from the Office of the Attorney-General, Vincent Nyinaku, who is in charge of the Central Region.

Viral video

The incident, which happened at a dormitory at Quaque House, left one of the students, Kelvin Ofori, who was attacked by a taller student, with a swollen cheek.

The taller and older student, identified only as Bobby, was seen in the viral video holding the neck of his victim from behind as though to strangulate him in the presence of other students who shouted cautionary remarks.

As the victim gasped for breath and tried to free himself from his attacker, the taller student pushed him towards a bunk bed and violently hit his face against the bed.

At that moment, Bobby was seen pushing Ofori away from him.

The victim examined his face and felt blood on a badly swollen cheek.

Suspension

The school has suspended Ofori and his bully, and the two third-year students are to write their final West African Senior Secondary School Examination (WASSCE) from home.

A statement from the school said the student who recorded the video and circulated it would also be suspended externally for one week, return and do internal work on suspension for another week, and bring the phone to the school, else he would also be sanctioned.

Also, others who were there but did nothing and also did not report would all go through some internal punishment.

The housemaster, Ekow Holman, has also been relieved of his post, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Appeal

The mother of the bullied student, Margaret Afari, has appealed to the school to allow her son to stay in school to write the WASSCE.

She said the interim sanctions communicated from the school indicated that her son would have to stay out of the school premises and come with his parents every day to write his examination papers.

"I am pleading with the authorities in charge.

He (Ofori) was the one who was hurt.

They should look again at the sanctions and allow him to stay in the school and write the examination.

I don't want to drag this matter,” she told the Daily Graphic on the school premises yesterday.

“He is well now.

I just want him to be given the opportunity to stay in the school and write his papers," she said.

Ms Afari said she and the family heard about the incident for the first time only last Monday after the viral video.

With tears running down her cheeks as she spoke, she said she had still not seen the video personally but the elder brother of the bullied student described the scenes to her.

"I don't want to see the video.

I have heard it described to me but I have not seen it and I don't want to see it,” she told the Daily Graphic.

"His elder brother who watched it on Monday called the housemaster who later called me to explain the incident," Ms Afari said.

The Daily Graphic has established that the two students are classmates in the same Quaque House dormitory.

Master Ofori told the Daily Graphic that the incident was over a SIM card.

"He had my SIM card and I asked for it back, but he refused and that is what started the fight,” he stated.

He said the incident happened on Tuesday, June 30, this year.

Master Ofori indicated that though the incident happened around 4 p.m., it was not until after evening studies at night, at around 9 p.m., that he reported the incident.

"I told the housemaster we were playing when I got hurt.

I was given hot water to treat the wound when I reported the incident to the housemaster," the bullied student said.

Both students admitted before the housemaster that they were playing.

Kelvin said after the incident they had both continued being in the same dormitory peacefully without any incident until authorities saw the video.

The Daily Graphic observed that the scar was still visible on his face.

Education authorities

The Ministry of Education and its agency, the Ghana Education Service (GES), have summoned the school authorities, the students involved and their parents to Accra for further briefing.

Yesterday in the morning, there was a meeting between the Metropolitan Directorate of Education and school authorities on the issue and students of the school as part of the fact finding.

The Cape Coast Metropolitan Director of Education, Phyllis Asante-Krobea, told the Daily Graphic that the GES would ensure a thorough investigation before sanctions would be applied.

"Now all the sanctions are interim and the GES headquarters would have to approve all the sanctions," she said.

The Headmaster of the school, Samuel Kofi Agudogo, declined to comment on the incident, saying the school, and the students involved, were meeting the leadership of the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education.

Legal opinion

A human right lawyer and a private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, in an interview, said as much as the bully’s actions were reprehensible, the issue should be dealt with in a manner that would not affect his right to education.

He said the call by the Attorney-General to investigate the matter and arraign the culprit should be held back to allow him to write his final examination.

Mr Kpebu added that since the law permitted the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in such assault cases, the two parties could settle the matter amicably out of court, if indeed the students were playing.

Numbers

Meanwhile, some teachers have expressed worry about the high number of students on the school premises, saying the housemasters were overburdened, with little motivation.

"This teacher is one of the best housemasters.

Taking care of more than 200 adolescents, plus teaching and marking, is not an easy job.

He dealt promptly with the incident and need not suffer for this," a parent said.

Witnesses, experiences

Some witnesses to the fight in the video explained why they did not intervene.

"We stayed back because we cannot fight him.

He is quick-tempered and we cannot beat him," one of them told the Daily Graphic.

Some Form One students of Adisadel College also told the Daily Graphic that they were mostly harassed for their money and sometimes beaten for fun by some of the rowdy seniors.

“It's not too common but if you are not lucky and you meet some of the bad seniors they can worry you for not having money," one of the junior students said.

“Sometimes they search your pocket for money and when they don't find any, you are harassed and beaten up, so we don't put money in our pockets,” another one corroborated the earlier position.

source: Graphiconline.com