Enugu female students still locked up by AMCON, school management alleges
Five days after they were locked up by officials of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), 344 female students of Providence High School, Independence Layout, Enugu, are still trapped in their school premises following the refusal of the company to unseal their school gates.
This is as management of the school raised the alarm over the safety of the ‘detained’ female students, insisting yesterday that their lives were seriously under threat.
AMCON officials, allegedly led by one Nick Omeye, had on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at about 5.30 p.m., with over 40 armed police officers, locked up entrances to the boarding school, following a court order it obtained in 2016 empowering it to take possession of the school facilities.
But yesterday, AMCON denied detaining the students, stressing that reports that it locked up the premises of the school were “spewed mischief and half truth regarding the real issues about the enforcement exercise at the school.”
Its Head of Corporate Communication, Jude Nwauzor, stated that the gates of the school were “still open and activities ongoing,” adding that the company could not have “locked up a school offering social services.”He stated that what the officials did was to place the normal notice of possession of the property and left.
When The Guardian visited the school premises yesterday, the entire entrances were still under lock and key, even as the management of the school decried the “continuous incarceration of the students and their teachers by AMCON”.
Proprietress of the school, Mrs. Elizabeth Onwuagha, told reporters yesterday that AMCON was being deceitful and wondered what they would benefit by lying to the public over the forceful seizure of the school’s facilities with its students.
“I cannot understand why anybody would say that this place is not under lock and key. It is most unfortunate that people will say that white is black. It is sad. Let them tell the world how they invaded this place. As I am talking with you today, January 25, 2021, at 5.10 p.m., the gates are still under lock and key by AMCON. There is no way we can combat any emergence. Human beings are here. From January 21 when these gates were locked till today, January 25, the gates are still locked up with students inside the school premises,” she said.
She cited two occasions where the female students living in the school dormitory had to run from the school into the streets for safety over a fire incident at the school’s plant house and when teargas was shut in the streets to wade off protesters.
Onwuagha alleged that apart from beating one of the teachers for asking them why they invaded the school premises to possess it with formal notice, “their phones and other gadgets were smashed.”
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