A 15-year-old student of Army Day Secondary School, Obinze, Owerri, Imo State, Queendaline Ekezie has died after collapsing during a punishment meted out to her by two soldiers manning her school gate.
The deceased, a JSS 3 student, was said to have arrived school late last Thursday and asked by the soldiers to join fellow latecomers on a frogmarching exercise as punishment.
According to The Punch, the deceased had arrived school at 9am alongside a colleague and JSS2 student, Delight Aguocha.
The latecomers were required to do the frogmarch up to a certain distance from the school gate before picking their bags and heading for their classes.
However, after almost completing theirs, a soldier reportedly told Aguocha and the deceased that he was unsatisfied with their execution of the punishment and instructed them to repeat the exercise.
The duo were said to have been on the third round of the frogmarch when Ekezie collapsed.
“On that day, we had set out at 7 am . We waited for a motorcycle to take us to school till it was 8 am. 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 9 am , 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,” Aguocha was quoted as saying by The Punch.
Ekezie was said to have been unable to walk after a while and collapsed.
She was later rushed to hospital where she was confirmed dead.
Her father, Hyginus, was said to have collapsed after hearing the news.
The family are demanding compensation from the government and punishment for the offending soldiers.