Izuchukwu David Onwualu, an 11-year-old JSS 1 student at St.Valerian Catholic School in Onitsha, Anambra State, has allegedly died after maltreatment by a female basic science teacher in the school, the school in an attempt to cover up the case, gave the boy’s father some money and hurriedly buried the boy.
Dubem Onwualu Christopher, the deceased’s father, said he took his son to the school on a motorcycle on Tuesday morning, only to see him writhing in pain in the evening.
“I left the school to where my wife and I sold carbonated drinks near my house,” he said.
Christopher said he was in the market to get beverages for dinner when his wife called that his son was not feeling fine. On getting home, he met david writhing in pain. “My wife was pouring water on him and, at the same time, crying for help,” he said.
David’s classmates revealed it was their basic science teacher that maltreated him. The students, in a clip, revealed that the teacher repeatedly hit Izuchukwu with a plastic bottle on his head. According to them, the teacher was angry because he did not do his assignment.
David would later be made to do the assignment on the spot. Nobody did anything while our teacher was flogging him,” one of David’s classmates says in a video we obtained “She was always flogging him when he misbehaved. If he wrote slowly, she flogged him. If she played roughly, she flogged him.”
“When she was flogging him, she did not know he would hit his head on the wall. She flogged him, but he was not crying, so she kept flogging him to make sure he cried. During the flogging, he broke free and hit his head on the wall.”
David’s classmates later disclosed that he was complaining of a headache after the incident.
FROM SCHOOL CLINIC TO BORROMEO SPECIALIST
We learnt that David was rushed to the school clinic but the attendant was nowhere to be found. Then one student carried him home on his back.
“My son was talking like someone who had lost his brain,” said Christopher. “Soon, his eyes turned white and very scary. Immediately I took him to a nurse in Apaka, but she could not attend to us.”
Christopher said he took his son to St. Borromeo Catholic Specialist Hospital in the evening, where he was given injections and drips. “The doctor said the treatment was to slightly relieve him before we took him to Nnewi Teaching Hospital as he would suggest,” he said.
The consultant at Borromeo gave them a medical report to present at the teaching hospital.
Meanwhile, the medical report issued at Borromeo revealed that the boy suffered a traumatic head injury.
Christopher proceeded to take his soon to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching hospital Nnewi,
“On getting to Nnewi, I presented the report, and they allowed us in. The doctor flashed a torch at my son, checking his hands and eyes,” the deceased’s father said. “Suddenly, he told me to take him to where I was coming from.”
Christopher said he pleaded with the doctor to put David on oxygen, but his request was turned down. Still hopeful, he took him to New Hope Hospital in Onitsha, where he would later be confirmed dead around 4:00 am the following day.
The deceased’s mother has been unconscious since her son’s death. She has been crying profusely, according to her husband.
‘WE WILL GIVE HIM A BEFITTING BURIAL’
Rev Father Ezeanyi Victor, the school proprietor, two other priests, staff members and a few students of the school visited David’s residence to console his family and bury him, Onwualu Ifeanyi Emmanuel, a member of the family, told us
According to him, the delegates dismissed claims that the boy was victimised in the school, but asked that everything be solved amicably.
“They came on Wednesday with some students to bury Izuchukwu,” Emmanuel said. “Some of the staff were remorseful, but the reverend father said the boy was only beaten on his back, not the head.”
“Prior to this, they argued that nobody beat Izuchukwu. Later they shifted ground, saying he did not hit his head on the ground. They said Izuchukwu, while trying to escape, climbed a fence and fell.”
Despite the school’s argument, they offered a N200,000 compensation to the family, the boy’s father said.
“They promised to come back to us but they did not,” he said.
Christopher also said when he called the reverend father on Sunday to complain about his wife’s condition, he told him he was not around.
We also contacted Fr. Victor, but he shunned questions about the incident and asked our reporter to travel down to Onitsha for any information.
Ikenganyia Anthony, the Anambra police spokesman, said he was not aware of such an incident, but promised to investigate the matter.