By Gabriel Dike
The management of Dowen College, Lekki in Lagos, has debunked the insinuations making rounds online that 12-year-old, Sylvester Oromoni Junior, a student of the school, was beaten to death by suspected cultists in the school for refusing to join a cult group.
A cousin of the deceased, Perrison Onomoni, who broke the news via his Twitter handle, alleged Sylvester was battered by five students on Friday and later died on Tuesday. He said several test and X-rays revealed that he sustained internal injuries.
In a swift reaction to the tweet, the Principal of the college, Mrs. Adebisi Layiwola, said preliminary investigation conducted by the school authorities revealed that there was no fighting, bullying or any form of attack on Sylvester.
Layiwola said in a statement that on November 21, 2021, one of the hostel parents reported that the boy was injured while playing football, adding the resident registered nurse immediately administered first aid on him and after he expressed relief, was released to return to his hostel room.
She said: “It came as no small shock to us to read on the social media that he was beaten by some students and that he specifically mentioned some names. We immediately commenced investigations and invited the students allegedly mentioned for interview.
“His guardian was also present during the interviews, which revealed that nothing of such happened.”
Layiwola in statement made available to Daily Sun said Sylvester was in class on Monday, November 23 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 school policy, the resident doctor called his mother reporting the incident and requesting that she come for him so that he could get further medical attention. The mother however said she was not in Lagos, 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 November 23, the doctor called the mother again and this time, she assured that his guardian would pick him from school. His guardian showed up and took him for X-ray after which the guardian informed the school management that the results of the investigation revealed that no part of his body was broken or injured.”
Layiwola said she also spoke with the mother on the phone to enquire about his progress and she reported that he was having a massage and gave the phone to him to speak with the her.
The principal explained that the whole incident was strange and unbelievable because
the school has effective anti-bullying policies and consequences are well spelt out to all the students.
She said Sylvester made no such reports, neither his sister who is also a student or any other students, prefects, house parents, medical staff or any of the management staff.
Layiwola revealed that the resident doctor followed the laid down procedure by inviting his mother to take him home for further treatment after initial treatment by the school’s medical staff.
“The school has a very cordial relationship with the family as he is the fifth child of the family Dowen College has the privilege to train, including his elder sister who is currently a student at the school.
“Furthermore, we state categorically Dowen College is built on core values of godliness and excellence and will not tolerate any acts of cultism, which is why there is nothing like that and there has never been such deviant activities going on, as this is a faith based school and effective policies are in place to prevent such occurrence,” she stressed.
The principal expressed sadness by the death of Sylvester who had such a bright future ahead of him, stating “we extend our deepest sympathy and heart-felt condolences to his family, relatives, friends, classmates and the alumni family at this very difficult time.”