By TOPE TEMPLER OLAIYA
THE death of nine-month-old Abunene Osezua Emmanuel last week Monday at Masters Ville Children School crèche is not only giving parents of the boy great anguish but also raising questions as to the cause of death in the hands of care-givers at the school located at No 11, Asa Afariogun Street, Ajao Estate, Lagos.
On the morning of November 12 at about 7.00 am, late Abunene, who according to his parents, was in good state of health was handed over to a staff of the crèche. At about 10:05am on the same day, a call was put through to the boy’s mother by the head teacher that young Abunene had been rushed to the hospital. But on arrival at the Faith City Hospital, located few metres from the school on the same street, the mother was informed by doctors that the boy was brought in dead.
While the school authorities say the boy was being fed when he choked and efforts were thereafter made to take him to the nearest hospital, father of the deceased, Mr. Abunene Anthony, is accusing Masters Ville of malicious murder of his son, who doctors confirmed was brought in dead to the hospital.
In a tear-soaked voice, Anthony told The Guardian that his son is suspected to have died from overdose of sleeping pills given to the boy. “Immediately after the incident happened, I was reliably informed by a neighbour who withdrew her daughter from the same crèche when she discovered they usually give children brought to the school sleeping tablets to make them sleep off until when they are ready to be collected.
“This is why I have decided not to let sleeping dogs lie and I am taking this matter to court. Though I have hastily buried my son, I am fighting this course because other people’s children are at risk and children are taken to daycare centres everyday of the week. If the negligent actions of care-givers are not checked, only God knows who next would be victim of their improper acts. Instead of the proprietor of the school to show remorse, they are busy looking for the best lawyers to defend them.”
IN a petition sent to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, a copy of which was obtained by The Guardian at the weekend, Anthony is requesting that justice be done and the perpetrators of the death of his son be brought to book. “We don’t want this matter to be swept under the carpet. This is why we are requesting that the school be closed down pending when investigations and trial of the case in court is concluded and they are judged competent to run a school.
“We also request that the owner of Master Ville School and the staff on duty on November 12, 2012, namely Mrs. Dauda and Mrs. Ijere be arrested and charged for the murder of our son in order to ensure that justice prevails in this case,” the statement read.
When The Guardian visited the Ajao Estate Police Command at the weekend, the DPO confirmed the arrest and detention of the proprietress and care-giver who was on duty on the day the incident occurred, but investigations gathered revealed that the proprietress was later released on health grounds.