*Eye allegedly blinded from flogging by teacher
*Demands N100m compensation
BENIN—A 10-year-old primary four pupil of Okhoro Primary School, Benin, Edo State, Miss Blessing Okaeben, has demanded from the state government N100milllion within seven days as compensation for her left eye which was allegedly blinded through flogging by a teacher under its employment.
She threatened to institute legal proceedings against the government should it fail to meet her demand.
The money is made up of N20milion as estimated cost of her travel, stay, and medical treatment abroad and N80million as damages for breach of her fundamental rights to freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Africa Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Right s of the Child.
Blessing was said to have been flogged by the female teacher with a broom in June 2011 for failing her Mathematics test.
Explaining her ordeal, the pupil, in a letter to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, through her counsel, Mr. Bamidele Igbinedion, said after inflicting pains on her neck and head several times with a big cane, the teacher further seized a bunch of broom and hit her severally on the head, face and eyes.
She alleged that the said teacher called her a “witch” and accused her of using witchcraft to disturb the school, adding that despite her appeal, the teacher continued to beat her until she sustained injury in her left eye which started to emit a watery substance.
Little blessing said she was unable to sleep that night due to the pains in the injured eye, which had become red, sore and swollen, adding that the following morning, her parents reported the matter to the headmistress of the school who advised the class teacher to take her to the hospital.
The letter read partly: “The teacher took our client to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH, Eye Clinic, where a broken broom stick was later extracted from her left eye.
“The class teacher paid some paltry amount for the treatment and then took our client to a private eye clinic in Benin. However, when asked to pay further monies for her treatment, the teacher refused, saying she was pregnant with her own child and cannot be spending money to treat another person’s child.