Sylvester Oromoni: Police arrest three Dowen College students, two still at large

…Reps urge Police IG to take over investigation

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, says that three students of Dowen College in the Lekki area of the state are currently in police custody for allegedly assaulting 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni.

Odumosu, who spoke on Tuesday morning, also said two other students of the school fingered in the assault, are now at large, adding that those in police custody are helping the Command with information on how to track them.

The Lagos CP added that the school principal, housemasters, and other officials of the Lekki-based school are also assisting the police with information as the Command launched a full-scale probe into the circumstances culminating in the death of Oromoni on November 30, 2021.

The father of the deceased boarding student had alleged that the Junior Secondary School 2 pupil died from the injuries sustained during an assault by five of his colleagues who wanted to initiate him into cultism but the school claimed he died after sustaining an injury during a football match.

Reports of the detention of the three of the students allegedly involved in the bullying of the deceased student filtered in on Tuesday.

When asked on Tuesday whether three of the students are in police custody, the Lagos CP, in a phone interview with our correspondent, replied, “It is true.”

He further explained, “It is still an allegation until we conduct our investigation. We just started full investigation yesterday (Monday). Two out of those mentioned in the viral video are at large while three of the students are helping us to get others.”

“I am in contact with my counterpart in Delta State. I spoke with the parents yesterday, we are perfecting everything scientifically,” Odumosu added.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) alerted foreign missions to deny entry to the five students of Dowen College alleged to have bullied and beaten 12-year-old Oromoni to a point of coma which led to his eventual death.

Over 100,000 persons have also signed a petition domiciled on the platform seeking the arrest of those fingered in the incident and their swift prosecution.

With the national outrage the case has attracted since Oromoni’s death on November 30, 2021, federal and state governments have taken a number of actions.

The Lagos State Government on Friday ordered the indefinite closure of the school and sealed it off pending the outcome of an investigation into the death of Oromoni.

Odumosu had also ordered the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, to take over the investigation of the case immediately.

Oromoni’s death is one of the disheartening deaths resulting from bullying and molestations in boarding secondary schools of late.

Karen-Happuch Akpagher of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja, had died of sexual molestation in June 2021 while Don Davies of Deeper Life High School, Uyo, had also narrowly escaped death in December 2020, when his mother raised the alarm of alleged sodomy of her emaciated son.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has urged the Inspector General of Police (I-G) to take over the investigation into the alleged murder of Sylvester Oromoni, a student of Dowen College in Lekki, Lagos State.

The call was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Unyime Idem (PDP-Akwa Ibom) at plenary on Tuesday.

The green chambers said that all those mentioned in the case should be properly investigated and that social workers should be sent to all boarding schools to forestall future recurrence.

Moving the motion, Idem said that the social media had been awash with the report of the death of Oromoni, a 12-year-old boy who died on Nov. 27.

He said that Oromoni passed away as a result of multiple internal injuries sustained while he was being beaten by fellow students for refusing to join a cult group in Dowen College in Lekki, Lagos State.

He also said that a 14-year-old student of Premier Academy, Lugbe, Abuja, Karen-Happuch Akpagher died in June 2021 after she was sexually assaulted.

According to the lawmaker, six months later, there is still no news of the suspect being arrested for prosecution.

Idem said that following the reports, some Nigerians have voiced out their bitter experiences in boarding schools as a public analysis described bullying as a major pandemic in boarding schools.

The house condemned the recent inhuman treatment and abuses in boarding schools, urging the Ministry of Education to set out guidelines for the operations of boarding schools across the country.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Idris Wase, mandated Committees on Education, Youth Development, Women Affairs and Social Development to follow up the investigation and report back within two weeks.

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