Lagos closes Dowen College indefinitely over controversial Death of Sylvester

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The Lagos State Government has ordered that Dowen College, a secondary school located in Lekki, should be indefinitely closed.

This is in reaction to the controversies surrounding the death of a 12-year-old student, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, whose parents claimed was violently abused by senior students of the school for allegedly refusing to join a “secret cult” in the school.

According to the statement which was issued by the state’s ministry of education on Friday and signed by an assistant director, public affairs unit of the ministry, Ganiu Lawal.

“The Lagos State Government has ordered the indefinite closure of Dowen College, Lekki , pending the outcome of an investigation into the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, a student of the school,” the statement read in part.

Late Thursday evening, new video clips of the deceased who was visibly writhing in pain, surfaced on social media, with his parents raining curses on those they accused of inflicting injuries on their child.

TheCable newspapers also exclusively obtained additional information from the bereaved parents, narrating the details of the pain the late student went through and more information about the circumstances that led to his death.

However, the school management has consistently denied the existence of a cult group on the campus, saying the information at its disposal was that the student was injured while playing football.

Meanwhile, earlier on Wednesday, the late Master Oromoni’s ‘cousin’- Perrison Oromoni, had taken to social media to call out the names of some students of the school whom he accused of being responsible for the harassment and the eventual death of the junior secondary school student.

Mr Oromoni took to his Twitter handle @Perrisonoromoni to narrate how his late cousin was allegedly battered on Friday, November 26 at the school before he eventually died on Tuesday, November 30.

He stated that a series of tests and X-rays conducted on him showed that he sustained internal injuries from beatings he received from the students.

The accuser went ahead to list some students (names withheld) whom he accused of ‘mistreating’ the late student’ over his refusal to join an unnamed cult group.

Mr Oromoni added that the Dowen School management then called Sylvester’s father, Sylvester Oromoni, telling them that his son sustained injuries while playing football at the school.

A statement from the school which was allegedly signed by the principal, Adebisi Layiwola, went viral on social media.

The statement read in part:

“On the 21st day of November 2021, one of the Hostel Parents reported to the management that the young boy was injured while playing football. The resident registered nurse immediately administered first aid on him and after he expressed relief, was released to return to his hostel room.

“He was in class on Monday 22nd day of November 2021, but during school hours one of his friends accompanied him to the Sick Bay where he complained of some pain in his hip. The doctor examined him and prescribed Ibuprofen for the pain, while the nurse massaged his leg, after which he felt a bit better.”

In accordance with the school’s policy, “the resident doctor called the deceased’s mother reporting the incident and requesting that she should come for him so that he could get further medical attention”.

“The mother, however, said she was not in Lagos while she spoke and prayed with him on the phone and promised to send the guardian to pick him up immediately for further medical attention.

“When the guardian failed to show up, the next day on the 23rd of November 2021, the doctor called the mother again and this time, she assured that his guardian would pick him from school.”

According to TheCable newspaper, the parents eventually transferred their deceased son to Delta State where a series of tests conducted and ”last-minute open confessions” by the deceased allegedly confirmed that he was molested and violently abused by five senior students in the school.

The bereaved father, Mr Oromoni, claimed his son suffered liver enlargement due to congealed blood.

“He said, before he could make a return trip to Warri towards facilitating Junior’s transfer to the teaching hospital, the boy drew what became his last breath. It was also claimed that Junior was fed a liquid substance described as “a chemical” for refusing to join the group,” the newspaper reported.

It further quoted the father as saying; “My son suffered. His birthday is next tomorrow (Dec 4). I’ll celebrate it. I’ll have a cake baked. I’ll cut it on his behalf. The boys they mentioned were also reported to the school last term when they bullied Junior and collected all his foodstuff; clothes. I have two daughters, one of whom graduated earlier. I had to remove the second after this incident. They asked this boy to describe the sister’s privates and this got to us…

“Junior said, ‘mummy, I didn’t play ball; I didn’t fall.’ He jumped off his hostel bed. They kicked him, matched (marched on) his waist. Other students ran off. They threatened to kill them all if they spoke a word to the school staff. They warned Junior to say he sustained injuries while playing ball. They threatened him. If you ask the roommate, they’d all lie. They matched his ribs and waist. All that pain for a 12-year-old.”