24th August, 2011
The parents of a 10-year old pupil of Okhoro Primary School, Benin City in Oredo Local Government area of Edo State, Southwest Nigeria, Miss Blessing Okaeben, who was blinded by her teacherâ€™s cane have demanded a N100 million compensation from the state government.
Little Blessing Okaeben was flogged by her teacher, Mrs. Mercy Monday, for allegedly failing a Mathematics test.
When she got home, she could not sleep. Her mother reported to the head teacher in the school the following day. The head teacher instructed Blessingâ€™s teacher to take her to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH, Benin City. She did. Medical personnel at the UBTCH operated Miss Blessingâ€™s eyes and extracted specks of broom stick from her right eye. Her teacher picked the bill.
But the water coming out from her eye continued. She was later taken to a private hospital where her teacher was asked to pay for the treatment but she declined, saying she was pregnant with her own baby. The schoolâ€™s authority also refused to take over the medical care of Miss Blessing Okaeben.
Consequently, a lawyer, Mr. Dele Igbinedion, has written a letter on behalf of the pupil to the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, demanding the payment of N100 million for her medical expenses abroad and damages.
Blessingâ€™s mother, Mrs. Faith Okaeben, narrated in tears how the family had spent all they have on medicare since she was injured in the right eye.
A full time housewife, Mrs. Okaeben said Blessingâ€™s father is too poor to take care of his daughter.
She lamented the familyâ€™s plight, saying since her daughter was injured in the right eye she could not read or write or attend classes.
Mr. Dele Igbinedion told reporters in Benin City that if the state government fails to attend to ailing Miss Blessing Okaeben, her family will be left with no option than to institute a legal action to enforce her rights as entrenched in the constitution of Nigeria.
â€”Yomi Obaditan/ Benin City