The House of Representatives has directed the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Akali, to take over the investigation into the death of a secondary school pupil in Lagos, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.
It also asked its Committees on Education, Youth Development, Women Affairs and Social Development and Safety to conduct an investigation into the matter and report back to it.
The House condemned reports of ill-humane treatments at boarding schools in Nigeria and resolved that the Federal Ministry of Education should create guidelines for the operation of boarding schools in Nigeria.
The resolution was a sequel to a motion of urgent public importance moved by Idem Uyime (PDP, Akwa-Ibom) on Tuesday during plenary.
The late Master Oromoni was a student of Dowen College, a secondary school in the Lekki area of Lagos State. He passed away after an alleged assault by some students of the school.
Perrison Oromoni, a cousin to the late student, had posted on microblogging site, Twitter, narrating how he (Sylvester) was allegedly battered on 26 November at the school before he eventually died on 30 November.
The Principal of the school, Adebisi Olayiwola, had denied that Master Oromoni was battered by fellow students. The principal claimed that he suffered injuries while playing football.
Following the death and accusation of negligence against the management of the school, the Lagos State Government ordered the indefinite-closure of the school as the investigation is ongoing.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported that the parents of the late Oromoni had hired the services of Femi Falana to prosecute the case against the school.
Mr Falana had, therefore, written to the office of Lagos State chief coroner, requesting an inquest into the circumstances leading to the death of his client’s child.
Moving the motion, Mr Uyime said in the aftermath of the death of Master Oromoni, Nigerians have through social media platforms voiced out their ‘bitter experiences’ at boarding schools.
Mr Uyime also faulted the Federal Ministries of Women Affairs and Education for their silence over cases of bullying at schools.
The lawmaker also referred to the case of Keren-Happuch, a 14-year-old boarding Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja, who was allegedly raped and subsequently died.
“If proper measures had been put in place, we will not be having this— there would have been a proper way of monitoring the activities of these children,” he said.
Speaking on the motion, Obinna Chidoka (PDP, Anambra), said the House must send a strong signal to the world that children matter to the National Assembly. He, therefore, moved a motion for the IGP to take over the case.
Victor Akinjo (PDP, Ondo) in his contribution to the debate, said the issue is not if private schools are good or not, rather, poor oversight by the agencies of government responsible for regulating these schools.
Mr Akinjo said: “There is nothing wrong with private schools because we operate a private economy, but there is something wrong with the regulators. You cannot leave the boarding schools without proper regulations.
“It is the responsibility of the regulators to do proper oversight, to do what is right and save Nigeria from this embarrassment. It is a huge embarrassment for those schools to be turned into a cultist medium.”
The motion was unanimously adopted when the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), who presided over the session, put it to vote.
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