The police has arrested some four staffers of the Redeemers Nursery and Primary School in Ogba, Lagos State over the death of 5-year old pupil, Chidera Eze, who for drowned and died during a swimming lesson organized by the school.
Also, arrested were two workers of the Ivory Health Club, Ogundana Street, Ikeja, where the boy died.
The Police Public Relations Officer for Lagos State Police Command, Benjamin Hundeyin, told journalists that the workers, who were directly linked to the incident were arrested to explain the circumstances that led to the the boy’s death.
The PUNCH’s report revealed that some teachers and caregivers of the school took the boy and his colleagues for a swimming lesson at the private club.
The boy was said to have slipped into the swimming pool as he was playing with his colleagues during the training session.
The bereaved father of the boy, Anthony Eze, told the PUNCH that the school’s officials were not aware that his son had fallen into the pool until he drowned.
He said: “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 head teacher, 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.
“I rushed down there, but what I saw was the lifeless body of my son. I asked the head teacher 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 head teacher 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.
“The footage revealed that my son was in the pool for over 30 minutes before he died and his corpse was discovered by another person, 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.
“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 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.”