KanyiDaily recalls that a cousin of the deceased, Perrison Onomoni, who broke the news on his Twitter handle, had alleged that Sylvester was beaten to death by five students over his refusal to join their cult group.
Perrison explained that the boy was battered on Friday but later died on Tuesday after a series of tests and X-rays indicated that he sustained internal injuries.
He said that after Sylvester’s death, the school management had reached out to the deceased’s father and told him that his boy sustained injuries while playing football at the school.
Reacting to the allegation in a statement on Wednesday, the Principal of Dowen College, Mrs. Adebisi Layiwola insisted that preliminary investigation conducted by the school authorities revealed that there was no fighting, bullying or any form of attack on Sylvester.
Layiwola said one of the hostel parents reported that the boy was injured while playing football, adding the resident registered nurse immediately administered first aid on him and later called the student’s mother to inform her of the situation and also asked her to pick him up for further medical treatment.
Dowen College Student, Sylvester Oromoni Junior
The full statement reads, “It is with a heavy heart that we received the news of the sad demise of one of our dearly beloved children.
“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, 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.
“The Principal also spoke with the mother on the phone to enquire about his progress and she reported that he was having a massage and gave the phone to him to speak with the Principal.
“As a result, it came as no small shock to us to read on 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 an interview. His guardian was also present during the interviews, which revealed that nothing of such happened.
“The whole incident was strange and unbelievable because:
1. The school has effective anti-bullying policies and consequences are well spelt out to all the students.
2. The preliminary investigation showed that there was no fighting, bullying or any form of attack on the boy.
3. 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.
4. The school has two regular nurses and a qualified medical doctor that promptly attend to students’ medical needs.
5. 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.
“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 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 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.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of this young man who had such a bright future ahead of him. We extend our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to his beloved family, relatives, friends, classmates and the alumni family at this very difficult time. Thank you.”
KanyiDaily had also reported how a 400-level student of the Faculty of Education, Bayero University, Kano, was found dead in her room after complaining of chest pain.