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Bereaved families of Saboba drowning incident reiterate call for headteacher to be pardoned

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Families of the 9 JHS students who died in the Saboba District of the Northern Region last week Friday, November 19, 2021, have reiterated their plea for the headteacher at the centre of the drowning incident on River Oti to be pardoned.

Their call comes after the Ghana Education Service (GES) announced the interdiction of the headteacher.

GES in a letter said the headteacher would remain interdicted until a final determination is made on the matter by the police.

“Following the incident leading to the death of nine students of St. Charles Lwanga Junior High School in Saboba in the Northern Region on Friday, 12th November 2021, the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service has directed that you should be interdicted forthwith pending the final determination of the matter by the Police,” the GES letter said.

The GES said the headteacher “must hand over all official/school property in your custody to the District Director of Education, Saboba with immediate effect.”

GES rules forbid headteachers or teachers from using students for any kind of work outside the school or the classroom.

Nine of the students drowned after the canoe they were travelling in capsized while they were returning from the headteacher’s farm where they had gone to work.

However, the Spokesperson for the bereaved families, Jesse Nyimakan, in an interview with Citi News, said the headteacher is only being dealt with because the incident is in the public domain.

“We may say it’s an accident and nobody predicts an accident. So we are still pleading that if he can be pardoned and reinstated to his work, we would be happy. That is our plea. So we are calling on the law enforcers to temper justice with mercy.”

He also hinted of plans by the families to meet over the headteacher’s interdiction to discuss the next line of action.

“We [bereaved families] are yet to meet for another discussion on the next line of action and if we meet, whatever we agree on will be put across.”

Background
The Saboba District Police Command is investigating Chingya Emmanuel over the drowning incident.

The headteacher is reported to have sent about 30 of his students to his farm, but a canoe they were in capsized. Some of the students swam to safety.

The bodies of nine of the pupils were later retrieved and deposited at the Yendi Hospital morgue for preservation and autopsy.

He has been remanded into prison custody over his alleged role in the drowning incident and has been charged with manslaughter.

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