As the controversy over the death of Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old Dowen College student rages, the school authorities have refuted claims that the pupil was beaten to death for allegedly refusing to join a cult.
Last Wednesday, a middle-aged man, simply identified as Perrie, had lamented the death of his 12-year-old cousin, who was allegedly beaten to death at Dowen College, Lagos.
Perrie had alleged that the deceased was beaten to death after he refused to succumb to pressure by fellow students to join a cult.
According to him, the deceased mentioned the names of three of his colleagues responsible for the pain before he died last Tuesday.
But the school management, in a statement by the principal, Mrs. Adebisi Layiwola, claimed the deceased sustained injuries while playing football and was given immediate medical attention by the resident nurse.
Although the student complained of having pains in his hip and was attended to again, by a doctor and nurse, he was later taken home.
The school further said it had carried out a preliminary investigation where it was confirmed that there was no case of bullying, adding that it has policies that are strongly anti-cultism.
The statement read in part:
On November 21, one of the hostel parents reported to 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.
He was in class on November 22, but during school hours, one of his friends accompanied him to the sickbay 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.
The principal disclosed that in accordance with the school’s policy, the resident doctor called the deceased mother to report the incident and requested that she come around to pick the pupil for 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 his guardian failed to show up, the next day on November 23, the doctor called the deceased pupil’s mother again and she assured that his guardian would pick him from school.
Layiwola said his guardian took the pupil for an X-ray and later informed the school that the results of the investigation revealed that no part of his body was broken or injured.
The principal said she spoke with the mother on phone to enquire about the pupil’s progress and spoke with him.
She however expressed shock over social media’s reports that the deceased pupil was beaten by some students and specifically mentioned some names.
Layiwola said the school immediately commenced investigations and invited the students allegedly mentioned for interrogation.
She added that the deceased guardian was present during the interviews, which revealed that nothing of such happened.
Describing the incident as strange and unbelievable, Layiwola said Dowen College has effective anti-bullying policies and consequences are well spelt out to students.
Preliminary investigation showed that there was no fighting, bullying or any form of attack on the boy. He made no such reports, neither to his sister who is also a student or any other student, prefects, house parents, medical staff or management staff. The school has two regular nurses and a qualified medical doctor that promptly attend to students’ medical needs. The resident doctor followed the laid down procedure by inviting the deceased mother to take him home for further treatment after initial treatment by the school’s medical staff.
We state categorically that 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 have never been such deviant activities going on, as effective policies are in place to prevent such occurrence.
Layiwola added that the school has a legacy of character and learning, which has endured for more than 25 years.
The principal added:
We are deeply saddened by the death of this young man who was a dearly beloved student of the school. We extend our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to his beloved family, relatives, friends, classmates and the alumni family at this very difficult time.