By Ikeugonna Eleke
A United States based businessman, Mr Commander Ezu, has petitioned the Anambra State Commissioner for Education, Prof Kate Omenugha, over denial of access to his daughter by a school in the state.
Ezu, in a petition to the commissioner, which was written on his behalf by his lawyer, Dr Jude Okoye, said he had returned to Nigeria in March, 2020 and visited his daughter in school with gift items, but to his surprise, the school – Assured Tender Care – refused him access to her.
The businessman also alleged that he was abused, molested and unlawfully detained by the school Management, who, he said, collaborated with the brother to his now divorced wife, Mr Kenechukwu Nwankwo, and a staff member of the school, Mr Emmanuel Obiekwe. He expressed fear over the fate of his daughter in their hands.
A copy of the petition which was made available to Fides read: ”Petition against the abuse, molestation, attempted murder, denial of legitimate access to child, public assault and conspiracy to commit crime on Commander Ezu by the Management of Assured Tender Care, Mr Kenechukwu Nwankwo and Emmanuel Obiekwe.”
He said further that they refused him to see his daughter, but instead kept him for an hour inside the school to get permission from his former wife’s brother, before giving him access to his daughter.
“Indeed, our client informed us that the school Management told him that there was an instruction to them not to allow him access to his daughter, Miss Chimamanda Chukwudumebi Ezu.
“Sadly enough, the Management shows that our client is the biological father and has been visiting the child alone in school, and with the mother, including bringing school items to her and other pupils without problems,” the petition read.
Ezu called on the Commisioner to set up a panel of enquiry to look into the matter and mete out appropriate sanctions to the school to avoid a reoccurrence and deterioration of the highly rated Anambra State school system.
Meanwhile, the Management of Assured Tender Care School has denied abusing, molesting or threatening the life of Mr Ezu. A Management staff of the school who spoke to Fides during a visit to the school said the allegations were untrue.
The staff who refused to disclose her name because she was not authorized to speak, said it was however true that the Management refused to let Ezu see its pupil.
‘We are a reputable school in Anambra, and there is no way someone who did not keep a child in our care will come and request to see the child. We don’t do that. We have a duty to protect our children.
‘I was here on that day, and I saw what happened. It was the man that was even constituting a nuisance here, but we begged him to go home and wait for the daughter, instead of coming to school. This place is for learning, we don’t even let parents come here to see their children during lesson hours, not to talk of someone we do not know,’ the teacher said.