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Lagos commiserates with parents, shuts Dowen College over pupil’s death

By Iyabo Lawal, Gbenga Salau and Jesutomi Akomolafe
04 December 2021   |   4:05 am
Lagos State Government, yesterday, commiserated with the parents of the deceased student of Dowen College, Lekki, Master Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr), who died recently in controversial circumstances.

Police Visit College As Rights Writers Hail Governor
Lagos State Government, yesterday, commiserated with the parents of the deceased student of Dowen College, Lekki, Master Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr), who died recently in controversial circumstances.

The state government also ordered indefinite closure of the school, pending the outcome of investigation into the death of 12-year old Sylvester Oromoni.

Speaking on the incident, the State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, said the incident was very shocking, saying that Lagos State is, indeed, sad about the loss of the promising young boy.

A delegation of top-level management staff of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies and the Police, she said, has visited the school on a fact-finding mission.

According to her, preliminary investigations revealed that the late Sylvester Oromoni was, indeed, enrolled as a student of Dowen College in its boarding facility and had been treated by the school’s medical personnel before the school requested that the parents take him away for further care.

“The State Government is in touch with the parents at this difficult time. We reassure the family of the late Sylvester Oromoni and Lagosians at large that efforts are being made to unravel the circumstances leading to his demise, even as we reiterate the government’s commitment to Child Protection and Safety in the state,” the Commissioner said.

Meanwhile, the order for closure of the school, which was contained in a statement by the State’s Ministry of Education and signed by Assistant Director, Public Affairs Unit of the Ministry, Ganiu Lawal, became pertinent, especially as the deceased parents insisted that Sylvester was violently abused by senior students for allegedly refusing to join a secret cult in the school.

However, a civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has commended the Lagos State Government for shutting down the school indefinitely and tasked the Federal Capital Territory Administration to follow such proactive step by closing down Premiere Academy Lugbe, Abuja, found in similar circumstances where a 14-year-old female student was raped to death.

HURIWA also asked the Federal Attorney General, the Minister of Education and the Lagos State’s Attorney General and Education Commission to jointly conduct transparent investigation on the unexplained death of the 12-year old student of Dowen College Lagos Sylvester Oromoni Junior.

HURIWA, in a media statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, said the silence of the Federal Government’s relevant officials aforementioned is sending signal to the rest of the world that students are exposed to physical violence and that Federal Government fails in her obligation to care and protect children.

HURIWA said it was gratifying that the Lagos State Government has acted timeously to investigate the matter but HURIWA warned the Lagos State Government not to sacrifice the victim on the altar of political patronage since the parents of the suspected killers named by the victim are said to be wealthy and had reportedly taken those kids to a foreign jurisdiction soon after their victim of persistent bullying and torture had died.