*Both had submitted completed project works
By Evelyn Usman & Elizabeth Uwandu
Fresh facts emerged yesterday that late Funmi Odusina, one of the post-graduates students of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, that drowned at the Elegushi beach, died while trying to rescue Adesola Ogunmefun.
They were said to be celebrating the birthday of a friend, Bolu, when a heavy tide swept them away. Funmi reportedly swam towards Adesola, who was drowning, but passed out.
She was rescued alongside the celebrant, Bolu, by local divers who rushed them to Lagos Island General Hospital, where she died.
One of her aunts, Miss Bukola Odunsi, described her death as an act of bravery.
Explaining, with emotion, how the news of her demise reached the family, she said: “On that fateful day, I was with her parents when her mother’s telephone rang. The caller identified himself as a staff of the Island General Hospital and informed her that Funmi was rushed to the emergency unit of the hospital.
“Immediately, she called someone at Funmi’s hostel in UNILAG to confirm the incident. We rushed to the hospital only to be told that she had died and that her body had been deposited in the hospital’s mortuary.
“Since the incident no one has been stable because Funmi was a brilliant student. She graduated from Covenant University two year ago. Saying we would miss her is an understatement.”
Meanwhile, when Vanguard visited the Faculty of Law, UNILAG yesterday, it was discovered that they had commenced their final examinations, which the deceased would have been writing.
In honour of the late students, their course mates wore black clothes.
One of the students, who simply gave his name as Nwado, said: “As you can see, we are wearing black to mourn the death of our colleagues. We are supposed to be writing our examination together, but unfortunately they are not with us.”
Some students claimed they appealed to the management of the school to postpone the examination as a mark of honour to the departed souls, but the appeal, according to them, was not granted.
However, another student, who gave her name as Gbemi, disclosed that she was supposed to go to the beach with them but decided otherwise because of the exams.
She said: “I heard of the birthday bash. I was tempted to go because it has been long since I attended a beach party. But I had to stay back to read for my exams.”
Deceased submit projects—UNILAG staff
It was also discovered that late Funmi and Adesola had completed and submitted their project works. They were said to be among the first post-graduates students to submit theirs.
Speaking with Vanguard, a senior staff of the Department of Law and Jurisprudence, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the students as “conscientious fellows,” disclosing that they were among the first students to submit their projects.
He said: “The students were from this department. They had just submitted their completed projects last week. It is shocking because they were one of the conscientious students. All we have to do is to send our condolences to the bereaved families.”
Efforts to speak with the Dean of Post-Graduate School proved abortive as Vanguard was informed that he went for an inaugural lecture.
But a principal staff of the school, who also did not want her name in print, said the Dean and staff were yet to come to terms with the demise of the students.
Her words: “The Dean is unhappy over the development. However, these were part-time Master students, who never took permission from the school before going for a party.
“Before any student is allowed to attend any function outside the school, he or she must take permission. And this permission involves processes before the Dean assents to it. We are pained that this incident happened.”
Police arrest two persons
Meanwhile, two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident. Information at Vanguard’s disposal revealed that the suspects were managers of Elegushi Beach. They were reportedly arrested following absence of protective gadgets for fun-seekers at the commercial beach.
Recall that friends of the deceased had accused the beach operators of not having safety kits.
Spokesperson for Lagos State Police Command, Dolapo Badmus, confirmed the arrest but refused to give further details on their identities, saying that investigation was still ongoing.