By PAMELA EBOH, Awka
The family of Mr Dubem Onwualu has fingered a mission school teacher at St Valerian School, Akpaka in Onitsha, Anambra State, of killing their 11-year-old boy, David Izuchukwu Onwualu.
It was gathered that deceased was hit severally on the head with a filled plastic bottle by his teacher for failing to do his assignment.
Information also has it that in an attempt to cover up the case, a Catholic priest in charge of the school gave the family N200,000 and told them to bury the child and forget about the case, without involving the police.
Narrating his ordeal, the father of the Junior Secondary (JS)1 student said that he took his son to the school on a motorcycle on Tuesday morning, only to see him writhing in pain in the evening.
He added: “I left the school to where my wife and I sold carbonated drinks near my house.
“I was in the market to get beverages for dinner when my wife called that my son was not feeling fine. On getting home, I met David writhing in pain. My wife was pouring water on him and, at the same time, crying for help.
“David’s classmates who were present revealed that 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.”
One of David’s classmates said that he was made to do the assignment on the spot.
In a video by a classmate of David, he said: “Nobody did anything while our teacher was flogging him. 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.
It was further learnt that David was rushed to the school clinic but the attendant was nowhere to be found, before one student carried him home on his back.
Continuing, Onwualu said that he took his son to St. Borromeo Catholic Specialist Hospital in the evening, where he was given injections and drips, saying that the doctor’s treatment was a slight relieve to his son before he was taken to Nnewi Teaching Hospital on the advice of the doctor.
Onwualu said: “My son was talking like someone who had lost his brain. Soon, his eyes turned white and very scary. Immediately I took him to a nurse in Apkaka, but she could not attend to us.
“The consultant at Borromeo gave me 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.
“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. Suddenly, he told me to take him to where I was coming from.
“I pleaded with the doctor to put David on oxygen, but my request was turned down. I them took him to New Hope Hospital in Onitsha, where he would later be confirmed dead around 4:00 am the following day.”
According to him, his wife mother has been crying profusely, since the news of his son’s death broke out
He revealed that the school proprietor, Rev Father Victor Ezeanyi, two other priests, staff members and a few students of the school visited David’s residence to console his family and bury him,
According to him, the delegates dismissed claims that the boy was victimised in the school, but asked that everything be resolved amicably.
“They came on Wednesday with some students to bury Izuchukwu. 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 us,” the deceased father stated.
While saying that they never fulfilled their promise of coming back after the burial, he lamented that when he called the reverend father on Sunday to complain about his wife’s condition, he told him he was not around.
When contacted, the Rev. Fr. refused to answer questions about the incident, but rather asked our correspondent to travel down to Onitsha for any information on the matter.
Meanwhile, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Tochukwu Ikenga, said he was not aware of such incident, but promised to investigate it. (News Express)