By Akinwale Kasali
Few days ago in Zamfara State, a teacher was alleged to have flogged a student to death. Yesterday, the family of Queendaline Ekezie, a 15-year-old pupil of Army Day Secondary School, Obinze, Owerri, Imo State, are inconsolable after two soldiers in the school allegedly snuffed life out of her during a rigorous punishment.
The soldiers were reported to have asked her to frogmarch after she arrived at school late. The victim, was said to have been exhausted after repeating the exercise several times, was said to have collapsed. She was reportedly rushed to an army hospital where she died.
Her father, Hyginus, on hearing the news, passed out and was rushed to a hospital in the community for treatment.
The magazine learnt that the deceased was in company of a colleague, Delight Aguocha, a JSS 2 pupil, when the incident happened.
Aguocha disclosed that the rigour of the punishment killed her friend.
She said, “On that day, we had set out at 7am. We waited for a motorcycle to take us to school till it was 8am. When we became frustrated, we decided to board a commercial cab. But the driver did not leave the motor park until the car was filled with passengers.
“When we got to school at 9am, we met three sets of late comers on the ground. Two soldiers were asking each set to do frogmarch to a particular distance after which they picked their bags and entered their classes.
“I completed the punishment the third time and I picked my bag and left. I suddenly discovered that my friend was not with me. When I returned to the place, I saw her crying. She started vomiting the food she ate that morning. She was saying, ‘my back, my chest.’ The soldiers were just staring at us.”
She added that while the 15-year-old groaned with pain, a teacher who was just arriving in the school, observed her and asked if she had been sick before the time.
Aguocha said she insisted that her friend was healthy, adding that the school principal, who also later arrived, joined in examining her.
The victim, who could no longer walk, was reportedly carried into the principal’s car en route to the army hospital.
The friend said Queendaline was given an injection and later put on a drip.
“After they put on the drip, she started vomiting blood. Blood was spurting out of her nostrils, mouth and ears. I called the teacher to inform her and she alerted a nurse who said her condition had worsened,” she added.
The victim’s sister, Immaculate, a Senior Secondary School 3 pupil in the school, said her sister was not given adequate medical attention which contributed to her death.
Immaculate said her sister’s dream of becoming a lawyer and fighting for human rights had been destroyed, adding that the soldiers should be held responsible.