Lecturer denies complicity in student’s death

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A lecturer at the Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Professor Amechi Enyi, Friday explained that the demise of Miss Favour Ugwuka, a final year student of the Department of English and Literary Studies has no connection with the deceased’s inability to pass his course.

Recall that on Thursday, reports about Miss Ugwuka committing suicide at a Hostel in Ishieke campus went viral both on social media and in the University community in Abakaliki.

Also, a woman who identified herself as the mother of the deceased student, was seen in a viral video cursing out “Prof. Enyi” and Ebonyi State University for being responsible for her daughter’s death.

But in his reaction, the accused Lecturer debunked claims in some quarters that his actions or inactions contributed to the death of the victim.

Enyi stated that he was aggrieved for being wrongly accused by the woman in the viral video as the death of the final year has nothing to do with the course he teaches in the university.

Speaking on the incident the University don said: “I am Prof A U. Enyi of the Department of English and Literary Studies, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki. It is unfortunate, it is quite unfortunate that the girl ended the way she ended. I was really shocked when I heard the news.

“It is not true that her death is related to academic issue. I don’t see how somebody who was not victimized, someone who failed an exam will decide to take her own life. So, the first question one should ask in this circumstance should be, was she victimized?”

“And of course, you know that she may not have been the only person who wrote the exam and some [other] people may have failed also, so it is not true and, really that was my first reaction. How could she have decided to take her own life, that is if she actually took her life.

“How could she have decided to take her own life when she was not victimised in the exam?

Speaking on the mother’s accusation, Prof Enyi said: “Yes, I got to really know about this student in February, 2024 after we had uploaded our second semester results. And the results were already approved by the school because before we upload results, so that students could have access to the result, the School Management would have approved the results.

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“So the mother called me one night, she said that I was witch-hunting her daughter, that how could her daughter have passed all other courses only to fail my course?

“And when I tried to explain to her the procedure of ascertaining such accusation, she refused listening then I had no choice than to disconnect the call.

“And I didn’t dwell further on it because the University has a process for handling such matters. According to the University’s rules, the examination does not belong to the lecturer, we had submitted the results, the student scripts, the questions and the marking scheme, so all these are the properties of the University and they are all verifiable.

“So, if anyone feels aggrieved, the process of recalling the papers is there. And what such an aggrieved person needs to do is not to threaten my life, telling me that she is from Nsukka and that I will be dealt with.

“I tried telling the mother that she can write a petition against me, she can investigate and then the right process will be followed, a Panel could be set up to investigate the allegations and accusations, but she did not listen.

“However, she eventually did come to the University as she had threatened, but I did not even know that she came. I learnt that she was also advised to formally approach the Department and the school Management. Even the Head of the Department (HOD) who incidentally is also a woman too decided to informally assist her and look into the matter, and the HOD, retrieved her daughter’s script and it was discovered that the late student merely copied a few questions and never answered any of the questions.

“At that point the HOD advised the mother to tell her daughter to re-register the course during the second semester, because the course is a second semester course and that after she (the student) may have registered the course, the Department could then approach the Lecturer to explore ways the student could be assisted to pass the course.

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“And that was what the HOD advised the mother and that was the last time the HOD heard of the matter, because we are currently writing our first semester examinations so we have not even started the second semester when the deceased student was expected to re-register the course.

“So, it was this morning (Thursday) that the HOD called me to narrate what has happened.

“Meanwhile, this same woman, (obviously after interfacing with the HOD) came to the department and apologized to me, and I told her that there is no way I can victimise a student, and I told her that I never made any demands from her daughter and I barely know the girl. And from the day the exam was written, I never saw her till the results were uploaded.

“So, what will be my reason to victimise any student? And if there is a case of victimization, there is an established procedure for handling such in the university. There have been instances of people calling for their papers and the recalled paper will be re-marked elsewhere. So that is it.

For me, once I have uploaded my result, I have concluded with the examination, if you pass, that means you passed. And I don’t think that someone who has passed can be failed, for what reason? And at the end of the day I forgave the mother and told her that if the girl comes back and re-register the course I’ll find way to assist her to pass the course and we both agreed on that.

“And suddenly this morning (Thursday) when she started calling my name, I was wondering what was the connection between my name or the course and a student committing suicide? And what has she been doing in Abakaliki since February that she finished her examination and should be with her parents?

“And remember that you (the mother) extracted a promise from me that I will help her when she comes back to re-register the second semester course with the caveat that she may not always come to class because she would have left Abakaliki by the time the second semester would commence.

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“So it is clear that only the girl can explain what business she was doing in Abakaliki till her unfortunate death. It is very unfortunate, but definitely, her death has nothing to do with that course.”

Reacting further, the lecturer noted that the allegations against him should be properly investigated by students, security operatives and journalists.

He said: “I call on the security people and you journalists to investigate deeper what may have led to her death. There are students who live with her where she lived and they would know her activities and what she has been doing in Abakaliki.

“It is obvious that the woman is bent on destroying me. From the what I have seen of the picture of the copse of the girl, there are noticeable wounds and bruises on the body. So, what is the relation of drinking something and the wounds all over the body?

“Everyone in the department knows that I keep my class register and in every class I call my register in every class and I complete my classes. Like in this semester I have a record of 15 contacts. There is no way I give my examination without completing my content for the over 20 years I have been in this job.

“I feel aggrieved because the woman has refused to find out what happened to her daughter, because she was hellbent on having a pound of flesh from me for no just cause. Why is it that she can not call for a post-mortem or even a autopsy to find out the real cause of her daughter’s death?

According to vanguard report, the Police and the Management of EBSU, have already swung into action to determine the immediate and remote causes behind the demise of Miss Favour Ugwuka

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