The management of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, has denied the allegation that 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni was tortured to death for refusing to join cultism.
Oromoni’s death became public knowledge after a family member, identified as Perri, posted about the incident on social media.
On Wednesday, a family member alleged that the Junior Secondary School 2 pupil died from the injuries he sustained during an assault by fellow students who wanted to initiate him into cultism.
Using his Twitter handle, @Perrisonoromoni, he claimed that before his cousin died, he identified five pupils who brutalised him for refusing to join a cult.
He noted that Oromoni suffered internal injuries afterwards, and died while receiving treatment in a hospital.
However, a statement by Dowen College Principal, Mrs Adebisi Layiwola, said “the whole incident was strange and unbelievable because the school had effective anti-bullying policies and consequences are well spelt out to all the students. The preliminary investigation showed that there was no fighting, bullying or any form of attack on the boy; he 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. The school has two regular nurses and a qualified medical doctor that promptly attend to students’ medical needs and 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.
“On the 21st day of November 2021, 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 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 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. 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. 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. The resident doctor also called the mother later in the week to check up on his progress but she informed the doctor that he was sleeping at the time.”
Furthermore, the principal said she also spoke with the mother on the phone to enquire about his progress and she was told that he was having a massage, adding that the boy spoke to him on phone.
The statement continued, “As a result, 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.
“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.