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Falana Demands Compensation For Deceased Nasarawa Students

Prominent human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has attributed the tragic deaths of two students at Nasarawa State University to “official negligence,” demanding an immediate investigation into the circumstances that led to the incident.

Two students reportedly died at a stampede during a palliative distribution exercise organized by the state government in the university.

However, in a statement released on Sunday, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria highlighted the need for accountability and compensation for the families of the victims, Grace Danladi and Rose Micheal, who lost their lives in the chaos last Friday.

Several other students sustained injuries during the melee, which saw the crowd jostling for two 7.5 kg bags of rice and N5,000 allocated to each student by Governor Abdullahi Sule.

Falana criticized the lack of organization and foresight by the university authorities, pointing out that the tragedy could have been avoided if the distribution had been conducted in a more orderly manner through the students’ respective departments.

He lamented the absence of necessary precautions such as a standby ambulance and adequate medical facilities, which resulted in the injured students being rushed to the Federal Medical Centre in Keffi, where two female students were pronounced dead.

Falana insisted that those found culpable should face prosecution without delay. Furthermore, he underscored the legal obligation of the state government and university management to compensate the grieving families of Danladi and Michael, emphasizing the need for justice and accountability in the wake of the tragedy.

He said, “It is unfortunate that the authorities of the University failed to draw any lesson from the recent stampede which claimed the lives of seven persons during the distribution of 25kg bags of rice in Lagos by the Nigeria Customs Service. No doubt, the tragedy would have been averted if the University management had distributed the 7 kg bags of rice to the students through their departments.

“Indeed, there was no justification to have assembled thousands of students without a standby ambulance. As if that was not enough, the university health centre was not equipped to attend to the injured students. Hence, they were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre in Keffi where two female students were certified dead.

“Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the tragic incident, the Nassarawa State police command should be directed to investigate the allegations of criminal negligence which led to the unfortunate death of the two students.

“The culprits should be prosecuted without delay. In view of the official statement that hoodlums hijacked the distribution exercise the state government and the university management are required by law to compensate the bereaved families of the two students.” 

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