SSS Invites Comedian, Koboko After Video Criticizing UNICAL Management Over Student’s Death Goes Viral

In Breaking News, Civic Space, Education

By Jonathan Ugbal

Cross River-based comedian, Isaac Joseph popularly known as Koboko has said Nigeria’s secret police, the SSS invited him for what he suspects to be linked to his video criticizing the Nigerian University system after the death of Ms. Precious Agindi, a 300 Level Library and Information Science student of the University of Calabar, UNICAL on January 28, 2023.

Ms. Agindi died after friends rushed her to the varsity’s medical center which led to demonstrations after claims were made that she died due to negligence by the center’s staff. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Florence Obi, was forced to address the students and set up a panel of inquiry to investigate claims that negligence led to Ms. Agindi’s death.

Upon hearing this, Koboko told CrossRiverWatch on the phone that he had made a video commentary on the issues surrounding the death of Ms. Agindi and shared it on Facebook on January 28, 2023. The video has since gone viral with over 362,000 views, garnering over 13,000 reactions and nearly 3,000 comments. It has been shared over 4,000 times as of the time of filing this report.

In the video which lasts six minutes and 51 seconds, interlaced with clips of a demonstration by students after Ms. Agindi passed away, Koboko, who spoke in pidgin, lamented the shift in school fee policy and said he had been informed that there was a delay in attending to her which led to a ruptured appendicitis.”How will you not provide a standard hospital for every Nigerian Student in Nigerian Universities? A Nigerian student will be rushed to the hospital, to the medical center for urgent attention and you are   looking for an NGN200 card.”

He urged students to share the video and said there was a need to hold the government accountable and public office holders in other sectors.

On Tuesday morning, Koboko received a call from an agent of the service on Tuesday inviting him for “a brief meeting” slated for 1:00 PM yesterday, but he said he had other plans for the day.

“I told them I was scheduled to travel and I suspect it is because of what the UNICAL Vice Chancellor said, that I have seven days to apologize,” Koboko said on phone.

He later said he had reached out to his lawyers and was already out of town as he had planned and will be available when he returns.

When pressed further, for what could lead to his invitation, Koboko disclosed that the Vice Chancellor of the Varsity, Professor Florence Obi had asked him to apologize to the institution for peddling falsehood. This was verified by CrossRiverWatch.

In a press briefing on February 14, 2023, Professor Obi refuted Koboko’s claims of negligence and ruptured appendicitis and disclosed that the late student was laid to rest in her native Gbe Nanav in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State on February 11, 2023.

“As I addressed protesting students on campus that fateful day, this much I promised we would do. In fulfillment of this, with the full approval of the family of the deceased, we ordered an autopsy which was carried out by one of the foremost Nigerian Forensic Pathologists,” she said.

She continued; “Yesterday, in the presence of the representatives of the family, the Benue and Tiv Community in the University, SUG officials, members of the Panel of Inquiry, and Management received the Autopsy and the panel of inquiry reports.

“The report of the autopsy scientifically and medically detailed a clear and conclusive cause of death of our late student who was only brought to our medical center in a very critical state where she died less than an hour later. For emphasis, let me categorically state that the death of Ms. Precious had nothing to do with the rumored ruptured appendicitis as her appendix was found at autopsy to be healthy, not inflamed, and intact.”

On Koboko, she said; “Let me state categorically here that management in consultation with the University Governing Council demand, on behalf of the University, that a certain individual called ‘MC Koboko’ who maligned and defamed the Institution by making a 6-minute video on social media releases a counter video through the same platform and a written apology to the University of Calabar within 7 days from today. We shall be compelled to take serious action against him according to the laws of the land if he fails to do so”, Obi said.

“The management has decided even while peddling falsehoods against the university, to respect the dead, and in consideration of the emotional trauma of her parents and the immediate family to simply say that the death was due to medical complications. It must be emphasized that the late student never went to the university medical center but was only taken there by her friends in a very critical medical condition the day she died.

“Please note that Ms. Precious had received treatment from other private clinics in town from the scan result and other medications presented to the nurses on duty when she was brought in. The Panel of inquiry made up of experienced medical consultants and doctors absorbed the nurses on the duty of any professional negligence but saw elements of lack of emotional commitment as medical professionals.

“The above investigation has revealed that the patient was brought to the medical center critically ill and her eventual death shortly after arrival was not due to professional negligence by the medical center’s staff. Also, there is an established clinical condition as the cause of death which is deferment to the family, and concerning the dead, we do not wish to reveal. Yet all sorts of lies have been told both online and offline to batter the image of the University and instigate unrest amongst the students.”

However, despite not meeting with the SSS, Koboko on Tuesday evening shared another video where he apologized to the Varsity’s management and said he did not mean to defame the school but draw attention to the negligence of the staff on duty who have since been suspended.

“When we see things like this that are not good, we say it  so that it will be better for the public so that it will help you just as you suspended those staff.”We believe that they will sit up in that unit because any student who is brought in, will be treated well. That was why the video was made and not to defame the school. It is my Alma Mater, why will I defame it?” Koboko said in pidgin.

He pleaded for the suspended staff to be returned to duty and hailed the strides made by Professor Obi’s administration especially being the first to bring a radio station to the institution.

He said it took him so long to tender an apology because he was thinking of how to perfect it and now that he has done it, he hopes for the better. He blamed the information of ruptured appendicitis, as the cause of death, on the information provided to him by the friends of the late Ms. Agindi.

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