Two undergraduates in court over friend’s drowning


Two students of the University of Abuja, Christian Francis, 17, and David Ogwu, 16, have been arraigned before an FCT High Court in Nyanya, for allegedly drowning their friend and schoolmate, Emmanuel Balogun at  the Dome Hotel, Abuja.

Francis and Ogwu are accused of conspiracy in the drowning of late Balogun at the said hotel on April 28.

According to the First Information Report, the deceased and the defendants attended a pool party at the Dome Hotel, Abuja on April 28.

Leading into Balogun’s death, the defendants were alleged of stampeding him into swimming after he told them he was not good at it.

As soon as the defendants noticed that their friend (deceased) was drowning and finally drowned, they dressed up and left the scene for school, without raising an alarm or reporting the matter to security agents.

The defendants, who are residents of Lugbe, Abuja are standing trial over alleged conspiracy to commit felony, culpable homicide and failure to give information to public servants.

They had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

When the matter came up for hearing, the prosecution counsel, Dabo Yakubu, told the court that the incident happened on April 28, and presented one of his witnesses, Mr Akin Balogun. He had submitted names of four witnesses.

Mr Balogun, who happened to be an uncle to the deceased, narrated to the court how they discovered Emmanuel’s death.

“On April 30, my brother (father of the deceased), Bill Balogun, received a call from his wife (deceased’s mother), asking if the deceased was at home following a call from the school that their son had been absent for two days.

“On making inquiry, he was told that the deceased and the defendants had gone for a pool party at the Dome Hotel, Abuja on April 28.

“This prompted my brother to rush to the university while his wife rushed to the hotel. At the school, the defendants told my brother that the deceased had informed them that he was leaving the hotel immediately after the party.

“However, as soon as the deceased’s mother got to the hotel, she was referred to Central Area Police Station, but later asked to call her husband to come, which she did.

“Upon my brother’s arrival, he was told that his son (Emmanuel) is dead and his corpse was deposited at the Federal Staff Hospital mortuary,” Balogun testified.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the defendants were first arraigned on July 3, where they pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of N5 million each, and one surety in like sum.

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