Parents of fleeing students of Dowen College in Lagos as well as the school management could be held liable over the alleged assault and eventual demise of Sylvester Oromoni, the Vice-Chancellor of Kwara State University, KWASU, Muhammed Akanbi, has said.
Oromoni Junior was a 12-year-old Junior Secondary School 2 student of Dowen College at Lekki area of Lagos State.
Police in Lagos had on Tuesday, confirmed the arrest of three students of Dowen College, in connection with the controversial death of the 12-year-old student of the school.
The police spokesperson in the state, Adekunle Ajisebutu, who confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, however, did not disclose the identities of those students in custody.
PREMIUM TIMES had earlier reported that the bereaved family had insisted that the 12-year-old mentioned five senior students of the college in his last-minute narrative on how he was allegedly tortured over his refusal to join a secret cult.
The father, Sylvester Oromoni Snr, also said his son confided in him that he was handed a substance to drink.
There have been speculations that some parents of the suspected students had flown their children out of Nigeria to evade arrest and possible prosecution.
‘Why parents of fleeing students may be liable’
In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Akanbi, a professor of law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said it might be difficult to prosecute parents for the “sins” of the children. “But there is something called aiding and abetting.”
“That is, a person has committed an offence, and you helped that person to escape from justice, then our criminal books have something for such parents.
“Those these are juveniles, but we still have provisions of the law that will bring them to justice,” the Vice-Chancellor explained
“So, if a parent has deliberately moved his or her child from the country to escape justice, that parent should be liable for the particular offence of allowing an offender to escape justice,” he said.
Giving perspectives on the school’s alleged abdication of responsible, Mr Akanbi admitted that is a bit technical, “whether the school (Dowen College) is vicariously liable,” querying if, “The school put in place mechanisms that will checkmate bullying.”
‘Internet fraud suspects arrested by EFCC expelled by varsity’
As a way of instilling discipline in students, the Vice-Chancellor said some Internet fraudsters were amongst the 87 students the varsity recently expelled.
“This is to ensure that the few bad eggs among the students do not contaminate the decent ones,” Mr Akanbi explained.
He said the students’ expulsion followed investigation and the establishment of their guilt by the students’ disciplinary committee.
It would be recalled this newspaper reported how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested five suspected internet fraudsters, including four students of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete in May this year.
The suspects, Oladosu Olakunmi Olamilekan, Olaoye Jamiu Olarewaju, Alimi Abiodun, Toheed Muritala and Afolabi Kamaldeen were nabbed at the Ilorin International Airport.
Worried by the spike in anti-social behaviour amongst undergraduates, the Vice-Chancellor recommended a policy that would compel all varsity students to reside on campus.
He appealed to the National Universities Commission (NUC), a regulatory body of both public and private varsities in Nigeria to drive the policy.
KWASU expels lecturer over sexual harassment
Speaking on staff discipline, the Vice-Chancellor said the university has “zero tolerance for sexual harassment of students.”
“The lecturer who disgraced himself; who engaged in the sex-for-marks issue is no longer a staff(er) of our university. He is facing prosecution in court, and we are cooperating with security agencies on this,” Mr Akanbi disclosed.
Pelumi Adewale, was dismissed for sexually harassing Tosin Adegunsoye, a student of Department of Pure and Applied Sciences.
Mr Akanbi said the accused had ceased to be a staffer of the school, adding that ”He is a disgrace to our great institution and we won’t condone such acts.”
Mr Adewale was on September 11 arraigned before a magistrate court sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital over accusation of sexual harassment.
He was arrested by the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) over offences bordering on criminal intimidation, sexual harassment and examination malpractices.
The victim had petitioned the SIB that sometime in September, Mr Adewale had threatened to fail her if she refused to have sexual intercourse with him.
In view of the threat subsequently reported, the police instructed Miss Adegunsoye to play along with the lecturer in order to obtain raw evidence.
The lecturer lured the student to his apartment around 8:30 p.m., where he gave her a new question paper and KWASU answer script to rewrite her examination.
In exchange, he had solicited to have sexual intercourse with her till day break.
The suspect was, however, apprehended in the process by the detectives who were hiding at a secure location to monitor the development.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999