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Court dismisses 9 years old girl’s suit against Ekiti government



Gift Agenoisa: court dismisses her case against Ekiti government

The High Court in Ado Ekiti has dismissed the suit instituted by a 9-year-old student of Mary Immaculate Secondary School against the Ekiti Government, seeking N15 million in damages for breach of fundamental rights.

Gift Agenoisa, a Junior Secondary School 1 student, in a suit number HAD/01/CR/2021 and sworn to, at the Ado-Ekiti High Court, on her behalf by her mum Odunayo Agenoisa, claimed that her suspension from school by the government infringed on her rights.

The plaintiff described as cruel and inhuman the alleged treatment meted to her for coming to school with an alleged indecent hairstyle.

Joined in the suit are the School Principal, Oluwasanmi F.M (1st respondent), the Commissioner for Education, Olabimpe Aderiye(2nd), the Ekiti State Teaching Service Commission(3rd), and the Ekiti State Government (4th respondent).

In the affidavit attached to the originating summons, the plaintiff claimed that she was singled out of Assembly on May 22, and given 20 lashes, on the order of the school principal for the alleged indecent hairstyle.

In her originating summons deposed to by her counsel, Timmy Omotoso, and brought pursuant to Order 2 rules 1,3,4,5 and 6 of the fundamental rights enforcement procedure rules 2009 as preserved by Section 315 of the 1999 constitution, the applicant demanded N15 million damages for her suspension.

She also demanded her immediate reinstatement to school with unfettered access to all services being rendered therein.

The plaintiff claimed that the beating she got that day, resulted in bruises, life-threatening scars, and bloodstains on her uniform, adding that she fainted and was rushed to the police clinic in Ado- Ekiti, where she was resuscitated.

She claimed further that her letters of protest to the wife of Ekiti Governor and some relevant government agencies were not responded to, hence, her resorting to legal action to seek redress.

The plaintiff added that she was being denied access to the school premises and her class, on the orders of the principal since then.

However, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye, while delivering judgment on Wednesday, held that the applicant did not place before the court credible and sufficient evidence to convince it to grant her prayers.

He said:

“It is also trite, that applications for the enforcement of fundamental rights are granted once the rights of the applicants are shown to have been breached or threatened.

“This was not done in the instant case.

‘’The sole issue for determination is hereby resolved against the claimants, the reliefs sought are hereby dismissed.’’

Earlier, Counsel for the respondents, S.B.J. Bamise in his counter-affidavit, described all averments in the Originating Summons, as not only untrue but total falsehood.

According to one of the respondents, Mrs Funmilayo Oluwasanmi, the girl on May 19, went to the school with a weird, indecent and unapproved hairdo, in an attempt to correct and scold her, she shouted at her teacher, that it was her mother who made the hair for her birthday.

Oluwasanmi said following her unruly behaviour, she was punished and given two strokes of cane and warned not to come to school with such hairdo again.

He said during a meeting with the girl and her mother, she called her husband, Moses Igenoisa, a Police Officer, who stormed the school with five fully armed Policemen.

“On their arrival, they beat up and harassed some school teachers.

“They forced opened the school gate and in the process, wounded the gateman,” he said.

Speaking after the judgment, the applicant’s counsel said he will appeal the judgment.

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