HURIWA seeks coroner’s inquest into death of six-year-old Lawal in Abuja school
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, called for a coroner’s inquest into the death of a six-year-old girl-child, Modadeoluwa Lawal, at the Start Rite School in Abuja.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, described the death of the pupil as reprehensible and unfortunate, just as it suggest a case of negligence, another sad occurrence of negligent school administrators failing to learn from the many avoidable deaths of pupils/students within their facility.
According to the group, it is even more unfortunate that both the school and the guardians of the little girl are offering opposing positions on the cause of death.
The rights group said the only verifiable and scientifically accurate conclusion on what led to her death can only be obtained in an independent, fair and non-compromised probe.
The group commiserated with the family of the deceased and called on Federal and State governments to formulate and enforce holistic reforms at schools nationwide to prevent such sad losses.
HURIWA said: “The death of six-year-old Modadeoluwa Lawal is acutely distressing and regretful as it showed that there is no end in sight to avoidable deaths of youngsters in schools .
“The death of a child is an excruciating and traumatic experience that no parent should go through. HURIWA sympathises with the family of the deceased and prays that God will console and comfort the bereaved at this time.
“It is sad that this kind of tragedy is recorded again in Nigeria. The police should stop defending the indefensible and deal with facts. The police as an institution of the state should avoid tendencies that may be interpreted to mean that it is working for a particular interest. The Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage should be reviewed and an independent Corona inquest conducted to ascertain the pure truth in this matter.
“There is obviously no need in the to and fro arguments between the Police and the parents of this little girl who has died in a painful way.”
“There must be no cover-ups and the police must not allow itself to be used to circumvent justice. Those culpable should be arrested for interrogation and prosecution with immediate effect. For as long as the law is manipulated, tragedies like this will keep occurring as culprits won’t learn their lessons. Justice must be served in this matter.
“School administrators must live up to expectations and come up with formidable measures to forestall these avoidable deaths. Federal and State governments must also ensure that schools, where such incidents occur, are shut perpetually and their licenses are withdrawn to serve as a strong deterrent to careless management. The entire educational sector needs to be sanitised.”
Recall that Modadeoluwa died on her birthday on November 2, 2022, after she reportedly drowned during a swimming tutorial during school hours.
Whilst the family insisted that the CCTV in the school showed that their child died in the pool due to the negligence and dereliction of on the part of the swimming instructor, the police disagreed and said that she died as a result of aspiration asphyxia.