By Chinonso Alozie
Students of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri, Imo state, have intensified moves to shut down Ezinwanne lodge, after a first year student of building technology, Anthony Chinweotito Emmanuel, was alleged to have been beaten by his caretaker, one Daniel Okufuwa, into coma and subsequently died in the hospital after five days.
Vanguard investigation around Nekede, uncovered that the Student Union Government has concluded to take the action of closing down the Lodge on Monday. The reason being that they wanted justice for Chinweotito.
On how it started, a source told Vanguard that it was as a result of disagreement between the Caretaker of Ezinwanne lodge and Students, following a meeting between “The school management, landlords and the Student Union Government, had a meeting and they agreed that final year students should be allowed to pay half payment for accommodation and other students should pay full payment. Some landlords agreed while others said they would not accept it. This decision was taken as a result of this covid-19 lockdown challenges.”
A student from the lodge who pleaded not to mention his name said: “In this our Ezinwanne lodge, our caretaker has been preventing us from seeing the landlord even when we ask for the landlords phone number he will give us fake phone numbers and it has been very difficult to connect the number sometime it will to another person.
“We pleaded for the landlords phone number, so that we can reach out to the owner of the house so that we can explain our plights for him to accept us especially the graduating students to pay half payment and that by April all of us will go.”
“On the 2 February, 2021, after our meeting with the caretaker, he gave us quit notice that since we can’t pay full payment that all of us should pack out from the lodge, he did not stop at that, he disconnected our light, including water.
“So, the students reconnected the water back at least to use it take their birth and go to exam while others use the water to wash their cloths.
“When the caretaker came back and saw that students have pumped water, he got angry and used sword to cut the pipes linking water into the buildings, as he was doing it students pleaded with him to stop but he got angry and started fighting the students, beaten them.”
“It was in that process that the caretaker accused Chinweotito of stealing his phone and immediately used a heavy wood and landed it on the neck of Chinweotito, and the boy felled down and entered into coma. Chinweotito was in coma, from that Tuesday to Saturday, when he died.”
Reacting, the President of the Student Union Government, SUG, Ezeh Chukwuebuka, who confirmed the incident said: “We are prepared to seal up Ezinwanne lodge because we are not happy the story of how Chinweotito died, we are closing down the Ezinwanne lodge on Monday. It is very wicked how some caretaker treats students. We are demanding to see the landlord of the Ezinwanne lodge and if he fails to show his face no student will live in that lodge again. We must get justice for Chinweotito.”
Also when Vanguard called the Imo state Police Public Relations Officer, Orlando Ikeokwu, he said that he was not aware of it and that he would find out and get back to me.