Mother of the 19-month-old pupil of Arise and Shine Nursery and Primary School, Asaba, Delta State, who was reportedly flogged to death, Gift Ohanezeze, yesterday, alleged that his son, Obinna, was flogged to death like a goat by his teacher, Emeka.
Gift, who is a single mother, alleged that her late son was flogged 31 strokes by Emeka, son of the proprietress of the school, situated at Camp 74, Asaba.
The 28-year-old lady, while narrating how her deceased son was reportedly tortured, said she registered Obinna at the school three weeks ago, only to be visited with the tragedy.
Speaking to newsmen amidst tears, she alleged that she met the school proprietress on Monday, February 7, the same day her son was flogged, who told her that her son committed a grievous offence, adding that the proprietress asked that she should come the following day.
She said: “I said what would be the offence of a child of one year and seven months. So, I left. Throughout that night we did not sleep. The next day, Tuesday, I took him back, that was when I could even see him properly, the bruises were uncountable.
“As I was making noise creating a scene for the teacher to come out, pupils from the class came out and told me that ‘our big mummy and uncle, and one aunty tied Obinna with white hanky hand and leg, and was flogging him like a goat.’
“I asked who big mummy was, they pointed at the proprietress. I met her and she didn’t deny it, she said Obinna is stubborn, that was why he was flogged. And I said who held him by the hand and leg, her son came out, looked into my face and said he was the one. My younger brother said he should come out, and he slapped my brother.”
Gift said Obinna’s condition deteriorated and was taken to the hospital at about 4 am on Thursday where the doctor said the pains resulted from internal bleeding and administered drugs on him.
Lamenting that his condition was not getting better, she said Obinna was referred to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, where doctors and others battled unsuccessfully to save her son’s life.
She said: “As soon as Obinna died, the school owner attempted to escape from Asaba to Onitsha but was tracked down at the park where the police took her and Emeka into custody.”
She lamented that three teachers flogged her son and inflicted multiple bruises on him, adding: “One of the suspects has already escaped from the town.”
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, while briefing newsmen on the matter, said the state government was interested in the matter.
While maintaining that the school was being operated illegally, Aniagwu, who was flanked by his Primary Education counterpart, Chika Ossai, and Humanitarian Support Services, Bridget Anyanfulu, said the state government would see to its logical conclusion observing the tenets of the law.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ari Muhammed Ali, on his part, said the Police have opened a full-blown investigation into the matter.
He said: “Post mortem examination would be carried out to ascertain the medical cause of death but for now, as it were, it is alleged that it was the beating that killed him. That is left for the medical doctor to confirm. At the end of the day, the case would be charged to court.”