by Zara Mustapha
Like a cruel joke being played, a female member of the National Youths Service Corps(NYSC) landed into trouble after a student she caned died days later.
Detectives at the Homicide section of State Criminal Investigation Department, Iyaganku, Ibadan are trying to resolve the mystery behind the death one Esther Oyeleke, a 14-year old JSS1 student of Akingbile Oluana Grammar School, Moniya, Ibadan, the corper’s place of primary assignment.
According to reports,on January 24, the Corper was said to have given Oyeleke and 5 other students two strokes of the cane each for playing during teaching period and for not responding when she asked their colleagues to call them.
Nigerian Tribune reports:
Surprisingly, the parents of the girl brought her back to the school on January 27 and said the hand on which she was beaten was swollen. With the belief that two strokes of cane could not cause such an injury, the parents were advised to take the girl to the hospital for medical treatment.
From a swollen hand, the girl’s condition deteriorated so much that by January 30, her entire body became swollen, according to information gathered by Crime Reports, and it was then she was taken to one Osoko Maternity Hospital where she was confirmed dead.
Her death reportedly led to a mini protest as the girl’s relations went to the school to disrupt academic activities. When the case was reported at Moniya Division, it was immediately transferred to the State CID for investigations.
In an interview with Crime Reports, the youth corps member, an indigene of a town in Oke Ogun area of Oyo State and a 2012 graduate of a polytechnic, said she believed she was not responsible for the girl’s death and should not be made to suffer unjustly. According to the Office Technology and Management graduate, “I am one of the corpers deployed to Akingbile Oluana Memorial School, Moniya. I was teaching JSS1 students Basic Science.
“On January 24, the students went to play outside the class and I told some of their colleagues to go and call them so that I could mark the attendance for the day. I could not speak loud then because I lost my voice. Some of them responded to my call while others did not. Because of this, I gave the disobedient ones two strokes of cane each on their palms in the classroom.
“On January 27, one of them, a female, was brought to the school and I was told that her hand was swollen. I said it could not be because of the caning, as there was even no mark on her palm. As her teacher, I asked her colleagues whether they knew her residence so that I could go and greet her but they said they did not.
“On January 30, the principal called me and said that she learnt that the entire body of the girl was swollen. Her family was said to have brought some people who disrupted the activities of the school. The principal said she enquired whether she had been taken to the hospital but the family members replied in the negative. She asked that she should be taken to the hospital.
“I was at a meeting of youth corps members when I was called that we should go and pay the girl a visit in the hospital. By the time we got to the hospital, one of the teachers came to me and said she learnt that the student was dead.
“On January 1, I went to our coordinator at the local government council before going to the state council of the NYSC to report what happened. I was brought to the State CID by the coordinators and I have been in detention since then.
“I am surprised because she was not the only that I gave two strokes of cane. What I know is that whatever is hidden from man is clear before God Almighty. I believe that it was not the strokes of cane that caused the girl’s death. I know I have done nothing wrong and it would not be good to make an innocent person suffer unjustly.”
The police spokesperson in Oyo State, Olabisi Okuwobi-Ilobanafor confirmed the story, when contacted, stating that detectives were still investigating the story. She said that the corpse of the deceased girl had been deposited at the State Hospital, Adeoyo, Ibadan for autopsy.