Soldiers Reportedly Frogmarch Pupil To Death For Lateness
Queendaline Ekezie, a 15-year-old pupil of Army Day Secondary School in Imo state, was allegedly frogmarched to death by soldiers.
Ekezie was reported to have arrived late to school and was asked to frogmarch by the soldiers.
The victim’s friend, Aguocha, stated that her friend was healthy before the incident, adding that the punishment killed her.
The soldiers were reported to have asked her to frogmarch for coming late to school on Thursday, February 21, Punch reports. NAIJ.com gathered that the victim, who became exhausted after repeating the exercise several times, was said to have collapsed and was reportedly rushed to an army hospital where she died.
It was learnt that when her father, Hyginus, heard the news, he passed out and was rushed to a hospital in the community for treatment. It was reported that Queendaline, who was in junior secondary school 3, was with a colleague, Delight Aguocha, a JSS 2 pupil, when the incident happened.
Aguocha claims that the rigour of the punishment killed her friend. She said: “On that day, we had set out at 7.am. We waited for a motorcycle to take us to school till it was 8.am. 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 9.am, 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.
“When it was our turn, we were about reaching the finishing line when they said we were not doing it right and we should start again. After we repeated it, we went to pick our school bags, but one of the soldiers said he was still not satisfied.
“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.”
The victim’s friend stated 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 told the teacher that her friend was healthy, adding that the school principal, who also later arrived, joined in examining her. It was learnt that the victim, who could no longer walk, was carried into the principal’s car to be taken to the army hospital. Aguocha stated that Queendaline was given an injection and later put on a drip.
She added: “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.” The victim’s sister, Immaculate, a senior secondary school 3 pupil in the school, alleged that her sister was not given adequate medical attention which contributed to her death. She said: “On that Thursday, she left for school before me. But because she had a delay, I got to school earlier. I was called around 10am that she was in the hospital. They didn’t put her on oxygen and the drip had stopped flowing. When I saw her, she was vomiting blood and shouting. She suddenly became still and the nurse asked us to leave. They announced that she was dead.”
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. Reacting to the incident, the 82 Division’s spokesman and deputy director, army public relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, said it would be premature to make a comment as the Imo state Ministry of Education had planned to issue a statement on it on Thursday, February 22.