Falana Calls for Compensation Over Nasarawa Student Deaths Due to Official Negligence

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Human rights activist Femi Falana has demanded compensation for the families of two deceased students from Nasarawa State University, attributing their deaths to “official negligence” during a palliative distribution stampede at the school.

Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragic incident and criticized the distribution exercise’s organization, which he deemed poorly executed.

Governor Abdullahi Sule’s directive to distribute two 7.5 kg bags of rice and N5,000 to each student at the state university in Keffi resulted in a stampede, claiming the lives of Grace Danladi and Rose Micheal, and injuring others.

Meanwhile, Falana expressed condolences to the families and friends of the deceased students while highlighting the lack of proper organization during the distribution process.

Falana criticized Prof Suleiman Bala, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, for reportedly attributing the tragedy to the impatience of the victims.

Drawing parallels to a similar stampede in Lagos during the distribution of rice by the Nigeria Customs Service, Falana emphasized that the tragedy could have been prevented if the university had distributed the rice through the students’ departments.

“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.”

Moreso,The absence of a standby ambulance and inadequate medical facilities at the university’s health center exacerbated the situation, forcing injured students to be rushed to the Federal Medical Centre in Keffi, where two female students were pronounced dead.

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However,Falana called for an investigation by the Nasarawa State police command into allegations of criminal negligence and urged swift prosecution of those responsible.

“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,” he said.

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