By Victor Ahiuma-Young
PARENTS of the five pupils, who lost their lives in the November 2, 2010 collapsed water tank disaster in the Staff Model Nursery, Primary and Secondary School, SMNPSS, College of Education, Agbor, are demanding the sum of N18 billion each as damages
The demand contained in a letter titled “Two Weeks Demand Notice of Claim for Murder/Manslaughter of Five Innocent Pupils of Staff Model Primary School, on November 2, 2010, by Mr. Augustine Okolie (father of late Constance C. Okolie),Elder Emmanuel Okoro (father of late Favour Okoro), Mr. F. Uyamasi (father of late Mary Magdalene Uyamasi), Mr. Nimbidu Kiyem (father of late Franca Nimbidu and Mrs. Ibe (a widow and mother of late Clinton Ibe) and addressed to the Provost of the College.
According to the letter, the demand of the N18 billion for each of the pupils must be met by the authorities of the College of Education, Agbor within 14 days, starting from Monday, December 20, 2010.
The parents said, “failing to comply with the above demand within 14 days of this demand notice, a legal action will be instituted against the College of Education, Agbor, and all the authorities concerned. “Having waited patiently for your (the authorities of the College) invitation but to no avail, we have lost confidence in you and the inter-ministerial committee on the collapsed overhead water tank purportedly set up by the Delta State government.”
While saying that the collapsed water tank was carelessly positioned in a dangerous corner beside the late children’s classroom, they observed that the water tank stands (stanchion) had very shallow foundation of approximately one foot below the earth surface.
The bereaved parents alleged that the stands of the stanchion carrying the water tank were already deteriorating before it (the tank) collapsed “yet the school authority in a criminal negligence proceeded to pump water into the tank resulting to its fall and thereby murdering the five innocent pupils in their classroom during a lesson period”.