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Allow Sylvester’s soul to rest peacefully, Dowen College appeals

By Jesutomi Akomolafe
11 January 2022   |   3:18 am
The management of Dowen College has appealed to those spreading malicious information against it over the death of its pupil, Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr) to “allow our dear Sylvester’s soul rest peacefully in our Lord’s arms.”

Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr)

The management of Dowen College has appealed to those spreading malicious information against it over the death of its pupil, Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr) to “allow our dear Sylvester’s soul rest peacefully in our Lord’s arms.”

The school spoke following the release of two autopsy reports exonerating five of its students and five employees, linked to the 12-year-old’s death on November 30.

It explained that it maintained silence throughout the six weeks after the “tragedy” because it wanted the experts – law enforcement agencies, the government and medical authorities, among others – to do their jobs and unearth the truth.

In a statement yesterday, the school regretted Oromoni’s death, saying the longstanding integrity, values and processes the school worked tirelessly to maintain over the past 24 years were unfairly called to question and dragged through the mud.

Recalling the events of the past six weeks, the school said: “On the 30th of November, the Dowen College family was informed we had lost one of our own: Sylvester Oromoni. Sylvester was the fourth of his family to attend Dowen College and this loss came as a shock to the entire school community. Unfortunately, before we could grasp and process the reality of losing him, the school was met with a public outburst accusing five of our students of bullying, poisoning and cultism.

“The authorities directed that an autopsy be conducted and the report reveals that there was no bodily harm, no intoxication, but rather that the young boy suffered and died of pre-existing health conditions that had not been treated.”

It noted that despite malicious accusations of complicity against some of its staff and students, the autopsy had revealed the truth. The school added: “Today the truth wins, our faith wins and our integrity wins. We pray that no school or organisation ever has to experience what we have been going through.

“We have maintained in our hearts and minds that compassion must override the instinct to defend ourselves, despite being tried viciously in the court of public opinion and social media. Our focus has been to work with the authorities in uncovering the whole truth regarding this matter and that is where our efforts have been.

“In the course of submitting ourselves to the investigations of the authorities, we have also kept silent and not assigned any blame to the accused children because we believe we must let the experts do their job and that they remain innocent until proven guilty, especially since our own preliminary investigations did not reveal their complicity in any untoward conduct.”

In particular, the statement emphasized that the autopsy report “which is the product of the work of seven of the leading Pathologists in Nigeria, including one representing the Oromoni family from Delta State has shown that Sylvester had several chronic pre-existing health conditions.

“These health conditions cannot be fabricated or doctored. If there were contributory injuries from any bodily harm they would have been presented and stated. Dowen College is not covering up anything for any student or family.”