12-year-old boy drowns in Ogun hotel swimming pool

A 12-year-old boy, Iremide Opeifa, has drowned in a swimming pool at the Grand Bank Link Hotels along Idiroko Road in the Sango Ota area of Ogun State.

Iremide had finished assisting his mother at her shop in the area before he left for the hotel to use the pool on Sunday evening, April 28.

Sadly, that was the last time his family saw him alive.

According to Punch, he younger sister of the deceased’s mother, Kehinde Opeifa, alleged that no efforts were made by the hotel to provide any medical care for Iremide before his mother arrived at the hotel.

She also alleged that no lifeguard was in sight on the hotel premises to keep swimmers safe.

She said, “Iremide and his brother were assisting their mother in the shop before she left to buy some things for them as they were planning to resume school on Monday. His brother said he wanted to urinate on their way home, and after that, he did not see him again. So, he went back to the shop.

“While looking for his brother, one of their friends said they saw Iremide at Grand Bank Link Hotels. By the time he got there, he saw Iremide lying lifeless on the floor. That was when he ran home to inform his mum. So, when we got there, we saw the body.

“No effort was even made to take him to the hospital, they just left him there on the floor. We asked the person in charge of the pool why he collected money from such a young boy and allowed him into the swimming pool. So, the mother immediately went to the Police Division at Onipanu Ota to report the incident and thereafter rushed him to the hospital. He was rejected at two different hospitals. When we got to the third one, he was confirmed dead on arrival.”

Another relative of the family, Modupe Babafemi, claimed that the police did not take any action to view the corpse of the boy after the incident was reported at the station.

Babafemi also alleged that the police prevailed on the mother of the deceased to procure an affidavit not to take any legal action.

She said, “Since we reported the incident to the police, they did not make any attempt to go to the hotel and did not bother to see the corpse. The hospital where he was confirmed dead was even beside the police station yet they did not leave the station to check on him. They were even telling us to get an affidavit to withdraw the case.”

The lawyer representing the hotel, Israel Ozolua, told the publication that he was told that the boys did not use the lifeguards provided by the facility before the incident happened.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Omolola Odutola, confirmed the incident, saying, “There was a report in Onipanu about a drowning incident on Sunday at about 8:40 pm. A woman named Florence Opeifa reported that her 12-year-old son, Iremide Opeifa, was rushed to the hospital after drowning while swimming with friends at the Grand Park Hotel, Ota.

“Sadly, he was confirmed dead at the hospital. Detectives visited the scene, took photos, and the body was taken to the hospital morgue.”

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