It was supposed to be a happy birthday celebration for a 17-year-old female student of Yaba College of Technology, Omodesola Olusoji, but it turned sour and bitter as an unidentified school friend of hers poured a substance suspected to be a corrosive chemical on her.
It was learnt that it is a tradition in the 65-year-old institution for students to pour water on their friends on their birthdays as part of the celebration.
It was also gathered that friends of Omodesola, a first year National Diploma student of Business Administration continued in the tradition and poured water on her while she was coming down the stairs at the PGD hostel.
However, one of them got hold of a keg of corrosive chemical kept in her hostel room, which she mistook for water, and poured it on Omodesola.
A student of the institution who preferred anonymity said Omodesola sustained burns on her face and her chest.
He said, “We actually learnt that her mother who is a senior lecturer in the school asked her not to come to school that day. But she lied to her that she had a test.
“I don’t think that malice was intended. The chemical the girl mistook for water was the one being used for the entrepreneurial development project.”
He added that Omodesola was initially taken to the school health centre, but was rejected because of the extent of her injuries.
Confirming the incident on the telephone, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, said Omodesola was currently receiving medical treatment at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
She said all efforts to get the school authorities to hand over the accused to the police had proved abortive.
She said, “On Thursday evening Omodesola’s father, Kayode, made a verbal report of the incident at the Sabo Police Division.
“The DPO has reached out to the school’s Chief Security Officer and the Students Affairs Unit to get the accused interrogated by the police for proper investigation of the matter but they have yet to do that.
“There is no official communication from the school authority to give us the reason behind that. The last time the DPO spoke with the CSO, he said the Rector wanted to deal with the matter internally.”
When our correspondent contacted the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Adekunle Adams, on the telephone, he said the college was working in collaboration with the parents of the victim to bring her back to normal.
He said, “Bathing people with water on their birthdays on the school campus, had been a norm amongst the students and they do this out of sheer youthful exuberance.
“In all fairness, the incident was purely accidental. The suspect in the case had been reporting at the unit investigating the matter and she had been remorseful. She was even part of those who rushed her to the health centre.
“The college is waiting for the medical report to know what our level of commitment will be in helping her recover fully.”
When asked if the college was preventing the police from doing their job, Adams said, “I’m not in the know of that.”
It was however, learnt that the Omodesola’s parents are considering flying her abroad for proper medical attention.