VC debunks allegations of “mystery deaths” at ESUT and explains that they are unrelated and happened outside the campus.
Vice Chancellor of Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT), Prof Aloy Okolie and his officials confirmed at the weekend that five persons died.
He however said that the deaths were unrelated and equally occurred outside the university campus.
Okolie briefed Secretary to Government, Prof Chidiebere Onyia, who visited the school following social media claims of mystery deaths on campus.
Executives of Southeast zone of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) wanted the university shuttered to probe the deaths.
Okolie however listed the five reported deaths and their causes as follows:
- A lady and her boyfriend who were in a room at the ESUT College of Medicine off-campus accommodation at GRA Enugu. He said one of the two died and he is expecting an autopsy report from the College Provost to ascertain the cause of death.
- A student at the university died in Abia State, after being away from the university for three months.
- National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member from the Southwest who took ill, left the university and reportedly died three months after.
- A student involved in an accident and died while returning from a church programme in Enugu.
- The death of another lady battling a terminal disease which the school read on social media.
The University’s director of medical services, Dr Njideka Kenneth-Njoku, told Prof Onyia that none of the deaths occurred on campus.
In calling for the closure of the school, NANS said it suspected an epidemic breakout.
State Health Commissioner, Prof Ikechukwu Obi, who accompanied Onyia on the visit said this ministry investigated and disproved the claim.
He described the allegation as a social media “falsehood.”
“Enugu State has an extensive disease surveillance network in all the local governments.
“The moment the information came, we started by sending the disease surveillance and notification officer serving Nkanu West Local Government which includes Agbani.
“The officer investigated and reported to the ministry, and the ministry did its own preliminary investigation as well.
“The report is that we still have independent unrelated cases of deaths that included students of ESUT as a university.”
The Vice Chancellor suggested that students who lost the 17 July NANS elections may be behind the orchestration of negative news against the school.
Prof Onyia, the government secretary, said it is becoming clear that “the intention behind the social media post may have been to mislead members of the public.”
Enugu State government wants to make ESUT a world-class university where “health and security of lives are sacrosanct,” he said.
“We want to ensure that parents that sent their kids to study here will also receive them back in good health,” he said.