Soldiers Frogmarch Pupil To Death For Lateness
The family of Queendaline Ekezie, a 15-year-old pupil of Army Day Secondary School, Obinze, Owerri, Imo State, are inconsolable after two soldiers in the school allegedly snuffed life out of her during a rigorous punishment.
The soldiers were reported to have asked her to frogmarch after she arrived at school late on Thursday.
The victim, who became exhausted after repeating the exercise several times, was said to have collapsed.
She was reportedly rushed to an army hospital where she died.
Her father, Hyginus, on hearing the news, passed out and was rushed to a hospital in the community for treatment.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Queendaline, who was in Junior Secondary School 3, was with a colleague, Delight Aguocha, a JSS 2 pupil, when the incident happened.
Aguocha told our correspondent that the rigour of the punishment killed her friend.
“On that day, we had set out at 7am. We waited for a motorcycle to take us to school till it was 8am. When we became frustrated, we decided to board a commercial cab. But the driver did not leave the motor park until the car was filled with passengers.
“When we got to school at 9am, we met three sets of late comers on the ground. Two soldiers were asking each set to do frogmarch to a particular distance after which they picked their bags and entered their classes.
“When it was our turn, we were about reaching the finishing line when they said we were not doing it right and we should start again. After we repeated it, we went to pick our school bags, but one of the soldiers said he was still not satisfied.
“I completed the punishment the third time and I picked my bag and left. I suddenly discovered that my friend was not with me. When I returned to the place, I saw her crying. She started vomiting the food she ate that morning. She was saying, ‘my back, my chest.’ The soldiers were just staring at us.”
She added that while the 15-year-old groaned with pain, a teacher who was just arriving in the school, observed her and asked if she had been sick before the time.
Aguocha said she insisted that her friend was healthy, adding that the school principal, who also later arrived, joined in examining her.
The victim, who could no longer walk, was reportedly carried into the principal’s car en route to the army hospital.
After they put on the drip, she started vomiting blood. Blood was spurting out of her nostrils, mouth and ears. I called the teacher to inform her and she alerted a nurse who said her condition had worsened,” she added.