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Family calls on police IG to probe death of son in a boarding school

Late Bright Onyekwuluje

The Inspector-General of Police has been called upon to unravel the circumstances surrounding the untimely death of one Master Bright Onyekwulúje who was a boarding student of St. Micheals Boys’ College, Ozubulu, in Ekwusigo local government area, who died out of negligence by the school authorities.

In a petition to the Inspector General of Police made available to newsmen in Awka, the Onyekwuluje family in Uzoakwa, Ihiala local government area claimed that their son died of negligence on the part of the
school management who refused to let the deceased go home for proper medical attention after he became sick while writing examinations last month.

The family also appealed to the Anambra state government to intervene to give Justice to the bereaved family.

Radio Nigeria correspondent Uche Ndeke reports that the remains of the deceased student had been laid to rest amidst accusations from the family and denials from the school authorities.

When Radio Nigeria arrived at Uzoakwa village, Ihiala, sympathizers, relations and family members were all wearing long faces and crying as the remains of eleven-year-old Bright were laid to rest

Late Bright Onyekwuluje, a junior secondary school student of St Micheals Boys’ school, Ozubulu was said to have died as a result of alleged negligence on the part of the school management who according to the parents refused to alert them that he was sick.

His parents, Prince Cornelius and Ogochukwu Onyekwuluje narrated that even when their son’s health had deteriorated, the management of the school insisted that he must stay to finish his exams before going home, a decision they said caused the death of their only son.

They claimed that a cousin to the deceased who was also a student of the school borrowed a phone and alerted the parents that the boy was ill but could not leave until after exams as insisted by the management.

He regretted that after calling the guardian, the teacher claimed that the student was okay and that it was nothing serious for him to come down from Port Harcourt court where he resides.

Mr Onyekwuluje told newsmen that Bright who was looking so bad, died on the 17th of December 2021, nine days after he was picked up from the school.

      "My son, Bright Chidalu Onyekwuluje died out of negligence on the part of the school. He was sick, and they refused to tell us. It was my son’s cousin that borrowed a phone to call his mother to tell us to come and pick Bright that he was dying.

“He told us he has been the one backing him from the school hostel to the classroom every day, to sit for exams.

“Even after the call, I reached the guardian of my son, but he lied to me that the boy was okay and that it was nothing serious. I insisted on coming from Port Harcourt, River State where I live to pick him, and they insisted it was nothing serious“When I insisted I must see him, I was surprised the boy looked so bad that he was already dying. I asked the guardian if this was the boy he said was alright, but he did not answer. Now I have lost my only son,”

An Uncle to the deceased, Mr Ben Onyekwuluje said the family will stop at nothing until justice is served on anyone involved in the sudden death of their child as a petition had been submitted to the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba in Abuja.

According to him, the family is appealing to the IGP to investigate the remote and immediate cause of the death and bring justice to all persons in the school who contributed to the death of the boy through their actions, inactions, negligence, carelessness and total disregard for the life and safety of the children placed under their care.

In an interview, the Principal of St Micheals Boys Secondary school, Reverend Father Romanus Mouma denied the allegation that the school management’s negligence led to the death of the boy.

According to him, the boy was diagnosed with malaria and was treated immediately but when he took ill again, the Guardian called the parents to come and take him home contrary to the allegation from the family.

“The boy was diagnosed with malaria, and was immediately put on treatment, and afterwards, he was okay. When it was found that the boy was ill again, it was the guardian that called the parents to come and take him home”

However, the Principal confirmed that the boy who made the call to the deceased parents was only made to kneel down for some minutes as punishment for his action which he said was against the management rules for students to call parents.

“The student who made the call was only made to kneel down for some minutes, saying it was against the rule for students to call parents, as calls are only made from a central point by the management.”

Radio Nigeria will keep you updated on the development and outcome of investigations once it is concluded by the security agents.

Reporting by Uche Ndeke; editing by Muzha Kucha/Tina Oyinsan