Six teachers at the Federal Government Girls College in Calabar on Thursday alleged that they were beaten up in the presence of pupils by operatives of the Department of State Services, Cross River State Command.
They claimed that the armed security officials invaded the school premises at about 10am on the invitation of a female DSS official who had come to beat up a teacher for flogging her daughter.
One of the teachers, Mr. Owai Owai, said he was flogged in front of his pupils by the DSS woman and her another person suspected to be her husband.
Other teachers, identified as Ndarake, Inyang, Udoh, Agba, Njor and the college’s Chief Security Officer, John Ikpeme claimed to have been beaten up when the school later became flooded with DSS officials.
A security official, identified as James Asuquo, said the DSS officials had shot repeatedly into the air before they forcefully gained entrance into the school .
The school gate had bullet holes, while some spent shells were seen on the floor.
Owai, who teaches Civic Education in the senior class, said trouble started when he flogged some pupils for failing to sweep their classroom. He said,
“I was about to teach when I noticed some junior pupils sweeping the classroom of the senior pupils. I learnt that the senior pupils had imposed it on them. It was a wrong precedent because all the pupils had been told to sweep their respective classes.
“I punished the senior pupils who ordered the junior ones to sweep. I gave each of them two strokes of the cane on their palm and one of them challenged me for flogging her. Before I knew what was happening, she telephoned her mother, whom I later learnt was a DSS official. The mother came to the school with her husband and they started beating me.
“They used my own cane to flog me in the presence of the pupils. My fellow teachers came in to stop them, but they were rebuffed. Later, the DSS woman called her colleagues for reinforcement and that was how the school became flooded with DSS officials. They started beating teachers who ran into them.”
Another teacher, Amos Princewill, said the DSS officials took away two mobile phones, a binocular and N80,000 belonging to his colleagues who were molested.
However, the state Director of DSS, Mr. Fubara Duke, said the matter was a case of mistaken identity.