May 23, 2024

Church denies complicity in final year student death

Church denies complicity in final student’s death

Ini Billie, Uyo

The Management of Full Life Academy in Akwa Ibom State has denied complicity in the death of Miss Edima Ini Umoh, a final-year student of the school.

Umoh, who was currently writing her West African Examination Council, was said to have died in her sleep on Friday at about 4 pm, after complaining of a headache.

Speaking with journalists about the incident on Wednesday in Uyo, the Principal of the Academy, Pastor (Mrs) Aniefonteabasi Victor-Williams said the school did its best to save the life of the girl who unfortunately died in her sleep while waiting for her mother to arrive with her drugs.

Reacting to the letter sent to the school by Edikan Lawrence Esq., Counsel to the parents of the deceased, demanding details of what they termed the “unnecessary and unfortunate” death of their daughter, Pastor Victor-Williams said she was in church when she was informed of the incident.

“We are fully aware of the demise of our student, Edima Ini Umoh, she was in SS3, currently writing her final exams. She has been in this school from creche, and was the only pioneer student remaining to graduate before the sad event took place.

“Everything happened quickly because, by the time that I was called, I was already ministering in my husband’s church as I’m also a pastor.

“Shortly before we left school, she was healthy, we even sent her to call us another student from the hostel. We were told that she earlier complained of a headache and the nurse gave her Paracetamol during lunchtime at 2:30 pm and she was fine.

“She went to eat and even requested more because here, we run a very homely facility. If a child is not satisfied, she has the right to get more meals. At the time I and the day students left the school, Matron said that Edima complained again that she was having a headache.

“The nurse wanted to initiate a Malaria treatment “Coaterm” so that the headache does not result in a fever, but she rejected it, saying that she preferred her mother to come to the school with the “Amathem” drug.

“She asked the Matron to call her mother which she did immediately. She spoke with her mother and asked the mother to come to the school with Amathem and pepper soup.

“She also asked that the mother should pray for her three times, but the mother felt like the daughter was over-panicking and kept responding that she should calm down and that she will bring everything she mentioned.

“Shortly after speaking with her mother, she became calm, and asked the hostel parents and hostel prefect (who were there to allow her rest, and felt it was proper to let her rest), the hostel parents assigned the school senior prefect who is her classmate to stay with her.

“When we asked the head girl, she responded that Edima was calm and had slept, so she left her room to also sleep upstairs. Not long after, she started snoring (being that they know her not to be snoring while sleeping), another classmate came to ask who was snoring, and when her name was mentioned, she allowed her to rest because of her health.

“The hostel parents came back to check those on Prep, if they were reading, this was when they saw a white substance mixed with blood coming out from Edima’s nose. That was when they raised the alarm and there was panic everywhere.

“By the time they carried her out of the bed, she had messed herself up, they clean her up and the nurse tried resuscitating her until the Doctor arrived.  We affiliate with Premier Clinic.

“My boss and all other school leaders were called and they all ran down to the school immediately. I met them at the Premier clinic, where the girl was on oxygen, and we prayed, hoping she will respond.

“We also reached out to Jeconiah Specialist hospitals, and the consultant said we should bring her, it was when we got there that she was confirmed dead,” she narrated.

On enquiry if the deceased had an underlying health issue, the principal said, “The mother never told us, what we observed is that earlier this year she had a headache that made her abstain from school for two weeks which resulted that she started wearing glasses.

“But then, she was a day student, so the mother told the school that it was optical issues that sponsored the migraine headache, that it calmed down after she was given the glasses,” she stated.

Earlier, the parents of the deceased had in a letter through their lawyer, Edikan Lawrence, esq. titled “Demand for full Disclosure of Events Leading to the Unnecessary and Unfortunate Death of Miss Edima Ini Umoh”, expressed sadness that the school authority had yet to furnish them with detailed account of what lead to their daughter’s death.

The letter which was copied to the Commissioner of Education and Commissioner of Police reads in part,

“The saddest part of the story is that up till this moment, the authority has not been able to give a full and detailed account of what transpired within the school that culminated into a regrettable, untimely, painful and unfortunate loss.

“Predicted on the foregoing, we have our client’s instruction (and indeed that of the entire Richard Essien Umoh family) to demand a full disclosure and formal statement of all events, including the minutest details, leading to the death of Miss Edima Ini Umoh, addressed to the family through our office within 48 hours of the service of this letter.

“Take note that where you fail or refuse to act in terms of this demand within the time stated above, we have our client’s instruction to resort to other legal measures to ensure that justice is not only done but seen to be done in this case and this will be without further recourse to you”.

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