The FCT command of the Nigeria Police Force has arrested three students of the University of Abuja over the death of their colleague, Emmanuel Balogun, who drowned in a swimming pool.
Balogun, who was 17 years old, was said to have gone to The Dome, a fun spot in Abuja along with friends over the weekend when the incident occurred.
It was alleged that after the teenager drowned, his colleagues abandoned him and watched him drown.
According to CCTV footage obtained by the police, the suspects took the deceased’s phones and money and returned to school without informing anyone of what had happened.
According to a friend of the family, it was a female friend that eventually informed his mother the next day.
She said, “A very dear friend’s undergraduate’s 17-year old son got drowned at the Dome hotel pool in Abuja last weekend. He was in the company of his friends. The friends neither reported to the hotel management what happened nor to the deceased’s parents.
“They went back to the school (UNIABUJA) hostel immediately after the incident. On Monday a young girl from UNIAbuja called the mother of the deceased that they did not see Emmanuel her son in class.
“She went further to tell the parents it’s like something had happened to Emma and ended the call. The mother called back the line but it was switched off. She notified her husband and they immediately placed a call to their son’s number and it was off.”
She said the parents drove that Monday night to their son’s hostel but did not see him.
It was later that they now got information that a party was hosted for fresh year students over the weekend at the hotel in town and they subsequently went to the hotel.
The family friend added, “The hotel management told them there was a case of drowning in their hotel over the weekend and directed them to the police. The police now led them to the mortuary, lo and behold it was their son.
“Later, myself and the deceased’s uncle went to the police to see the CCTV footage of what transpired at the hotel. What I saw and later heard was unbelievable.
“From the CCTV, we noticed the deceased entered the pool with three of his friends and around 3.33am he started struggling in the pool. His friends were all watching him until he stopped struggling and drowned.
“They all left the pool immediately and one took his handset; the other took his trousers and brought out the money inside the pocket and wore his shoes. They left the hotel around 4.18am according to the footage we saw.”
The police were said to have gone to the school and arrested the three friends along with some hotel staff.
The family friend said during the interrogation, one of the friends admitted that he could have rescued the deceased but the other prevented him from doing so.
She added, “One of the boys said that he wanted to raise an alarm to save the boy but the other two boys asked him not to. That the deceased is always doing ‘shakara’ because his father is rich, he went further to say that the other one said all the girls are always admiring the deceased so he should let him be. These are just 17/18-year-old boys.
“Watching the CCTV footage where the friends were watching him drown and collectively decided because there was a time they grouped together to discuss for about a minute and from the confession of one of them, it is not only traumatic for me but also disheartening.
“They watched their friend die out of jealousy and envy. According to them, it was the deceased that paid N2, 000 gate fee for each of them and also bought fish and juice which they all drank.
“The young man was buried amid tears according to the wishes of his parents but his wicked friends and hotel staff are still in police custody at the force headquarters as we speak.”
The spokesman for the FCT command, Danjuma Gejere, said investigations were ongoing, adding that those found culpable would be arraigned in court next week.