A secondary school in Baruwa, Ipaja, a Lagos suburb, has explained the circumstances under which a 15-year-old pupil, Favour Ekemedili, died last Thursday.
Ekemedili was said to have consumed juice laced with sniper shortly after the first period at Sedar College, Baruwa Ipaja.
The homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) has begun an investigation into the case.
The Nation gathered that the teenager might have committed suicide over alleged maltreatment and physical assault which she complained about to some of her classmates.
She allegedly came to school with a swollen face on a particular day.
Proprietress, Mrs. Odeka Adedayo, told our correspondent that the school did its best to save Ekemedili, saying she was stabilising before her mother took her to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja.
She explained that Ekemedili was a day student, adding she came to school that day with her juice like any other day.
According to her, a teacher, who was to enter Ekemedili’s class after the first period saw her drinking the supposed juice and clinging to her stomach.
Mrs. Adedayo said: “After the first period and the teacher left her class, Ekemedili came in with a pack of juice and sat close to the window. A girl that was passing went to her and asked to have some water but she told the girl that it wasn’t water and that one left her. She kept drinking it and was holding her stomach.
“The teacher who was about entering the class saw her and asked, “what is wrong with you Paloma?” She said nothing and smiled. Immediately, she threw what she was drinking from the window and tried to go to her seat.
“She collapsed on her way to her seat and her classmates carried her to the sickbay. When they got to the sickbay, some of them went back to pick what she was drinking and gave it to the teacher. The teacher smelt it and screamed that it smelled like a sniper.”
The proprietress added that Ekemedili was taken to the hospital the school uses, and on their way, the registrar called the doctor to intimate him of the situation.
“They were already ready with their suctioning machine and oxygen. She was placed on oxygen the moment they got there and they started sucking out the substance. For over an hour, they were bringing it out of her. She was stabilised and moved to the ward from the emergency.
“When her mother came, the school nurse left her in her mother’s care and returned to school. So, around 3pm, the doctor called the registrar to say her mother was insisting on taking her to LASUTH. While she was at the hospital, she was not talking but was conscious. She was asked if she knew certain persons and she nodded her head affirmatively.
“I was told she requested for food after a while. She did not say why she drank the sniper. She was not talking when she was picked from the school to the sickbay. She was a day student. I believe her classmates will be able to say something if asked,” she added.
Asked what happened to the pupil thereafter, Mrs. Adedayo said the mother was allowed to take her to LASUTH, adding that she later told her a stretcher fell on the girl while she was being moved to the ward.
She said the school, as a law-abiding institution, had to report what transpired in its premises to the police that evening, maintaining that the management took necessary steps to rescue her.
“We did not know what happened further. When she was left with her mother, she was already stabilizing. What the mother told us was that at LASUTH, when she was being taken in, the stretcher fell on her. We were not there and can only account for when we dropped her at the clinic the school uses during an emergency.
“We are not accusing her of anything. We only want to clear the air on this issue so that the school is not painted in a bad light. Sedar College is a responsible school and we are happy the police are already investigating,” she said.