School proprietor, teachers arraigned over alleged pupils’ negligence

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A 39-year-old school proprietor, Paul Okungbowa, on Wednesday, appeared before an Oredo Chief Magistrates’ Court, Benin for allegedly exposing two of his pupils to unnecessary danger. Okungbowa was arraigned along with three teachers, Blessing Osarodion, 27, Esosa Egharavba, 29, and Isioma Nimen, 35 . The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the proprietor was facing a two-count charge of alleged breach of the peace and allegedly calling a parent, Mrs Blessing Aigbudu, “a prostitute” in the public. The female school staff members were charged with alleged unlawful abandonment of pupils kept under their care by exposing them to unnecessary danger.
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Police Prosecutor, ASP Abubakar Shiabu, told the court that Okungbowa, being the proprietor of Calvary Crown Academy, and the three teachers, “as caregivers”, on Sept. 29, 2021, on the school’s premises, did unlawfully abandon two pupils kept in their care. Shiabu alleged that the defendants had by so doing allegedly exposed the two pupils kept under their care  to unnecessary danger and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 267 of the Criminal Law of Edo State 2022. The prosecutor said: “Okungbowa on Sept. 8, at Zone 5 Police Headquarters, Benin in the Oredo Magisterial District, in a public place, did conduct yourself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace by calling Mrs Blessing Aigbudu ‘a prostitute’ in the presence of her husband and other bystanders.”
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According to the prosecutor, the offence is punishable under section 167(2) of the Criminal Law of Edo State 2022. Similarly, the prosecutor also arraigned the father of the pupils, Mr Steve Aigbudu, for alleged breach of the public peace. Shiabu alleged that Aigbudu had on Sept. 29, 2021, at Calvary Crown Academy, Airport Road, did conduct himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace by bringing a public address system outside the school premises and making inciting and provocative comments against the institution.
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He said the offence contravened section 167(2) of the Criminal Law of Edo State. The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Caroline Oghuma, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N50,000 each with one surety each in like sum. Oghuma said that such sureties must be blood relations of the defendants, while their house addresses must be verified by the court’s registrar. The magistrate further ordered that the sureties must depose to affidavits of means and adjourned the case to October 27 for hearing.

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