Three people, including the principal of a school in Nigeria, were arrested Thursday for allegedly tying students to a cross and flogging them with horsewhips on roadside for not being on time.

Pictures showing a boy and a girl tied to a makeshift crucifix with green strings have gone viral. Metorite Standard School’s proprietor, Afolayan Joseph, and the yet-to-be-identified principal, allegedly tied up the pupils. The accused were taken into custody after a police officer saw them meting out the punishment to the students.

GettyImages-912791080 Three people, including the principal of a school in Nigeria, were arrested Thursday for allegedly tying students to a cross and flogging them with horsewhips. In this picture, students from the Bethel Nursery and Primary school leave with books from the in the I-Read mobile library in Nigeria, Jan. 30, 2018. Photo: STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images

When Livinus, the officer intervened and cautioned the two, they allegedly attacked him.

“I was going to work this morning (Wednesday) when I saw some cars parked by the roadside. I discovered that it was because of some pupils that were tied to crosses. When I saw it, I parked and went to meet the proprietor of the school. I introduced myself as a policeman and told him to untie the pupils. He refused, saying there was nothing anybody could tell him that would make him to release them,” he told Nigerian newspaper Punch.

"When I tried to untie the pupils, the proprietor and his teachers beat me up," he added. "Before I returned from picking handcuffs from my car, they had grabbed a friend who was with me and beaten him up with a horsewhip.”

 He then “entered the school – with the help of some neighbours who gathered around – to arrest him, but he refused to follow me. I then called the Divisional Police Officer of the Itele Police Station and he sent some policemen to the school, who took everybody to the station,” reported Africa Feeds.

 “I don’t see any offence that a secondary school pupil will commit that will make someone to tie him or her and be flogging them in public,” senior police spokesperson Abimbola Oyeyemi said while describing the act as “a barbaric incident.”

“They have been arrested and will be taken to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department,” he said. "The act is no longer a corrective measure, it is a barbaric act, it is not acceptable and it will not be tolerated.”