Chidera Eze, a five-year-old pupil of the Redeemers Nursery and Primary School in Ogba, Lagos state, has died during a swimming session.
The pupil was said to have drowned during a swimming lesson organised by the school at the Ivory Health Club in the Ikeja axis of the state.
Eze and his colleagues were said to have been playing close to the pool during the training when he suddenly slipped into it.
Speaking with PUNCH, Anthony, the pupil’s father, alleged that the school’s officials neglected his son, resulting in his death.
According to him, he had dropped Eze in school on Monday morning and left for work.
Anthony said Adeola Oladipo, the school’s headteacher, later called to inform him that his son was involved in an accident and rushed to the Ikeja Medical Centre.
“I dropped my children at the Redeemers Nursery and Primary School on Acme Road, Ogba, on Monday morning, and I went to work. At 10.52am, I got a call from their headteacher, Mrs Adeola Oladipo, and she told me that my son was involved in an accident and that he had been rushed to the Ikeja Medical Centre,” he said.
“I rushed down there, but what I saw was the lifeless body of my son. I asked the headteacher what happened and she said she did not know. I asked the doctor what happened and he said he was brought in dead. I asked the teachers, caregivers and workers at the club what happened and they gave no explanation.
“As I was crying, my wife came in; I was trying to manage the information, but the headteacher also informed her and as she ran into the hospital, I became totally confused. I went to the Area F Police Station and after the policemen took pictures of my son’s corpse, we went to the club.
“When we got there, we discovered that it was the adult swimming pool section that they took the pupils to. I was alarmed and while the policemen were investigating, we realised that CCTV was installed at the club. So, we demanded to check the CCTV footage and it revealed everything.”
Citing CCTV footage of the facility, Anthony also claimed his son was not attended to in the pool for over 30 minutes before he died.
He further alleged that his son’s corpse was discovered by someone who came to swim in the pool.
“In the footage, we saw that the school brought more than 15 children, took them to the adult side of the swimming pool and made them sit at the tip with their legs in the water and without wearing any kits. We saw only one caregiver in the video and she was just going in and coming out, leaving the children unmanned,” he added.
“My son was at the tail end of the line when he slipped into the pool the first time but he was able to bring himself out of the pool. But the second time he slipped into the water, he could not come out. All these happened and none of the teachers, caregivers, and lifeguards took notice of what was happening.
“My son was under the water for over 30 minutes and we were all shouting as we watched the video. Another pupil also fell into the water, but her colleagues raised the alarm and they pulled her out and while this was going on, nobody noticed my son was inside the water.
“My son died because of the recklessness of these people who were supposed to take care of him. I want justice to forestall this kind of thing from happening again. The caregivers, lifeguards, school management and the Ivory Health Club can’t go unpunished. My son’s corpse has been deposited in the morgue.”
The school has not reacted to the incident as of the time of this report.