After petitions addressed to the Nigeria police force (NPF), the family of the late 12-year-old Dowen College student, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, has hired the firm of a foremost human rights lawyer and activist, Femi Falana, to prosecute the case against the institution over the unfortunate death of their son.
The lawyer has, therefore, written to the office of Lagos State’s chief coroner, requesting an inquest into the circumstances leading to the death of his client’s child.
PREMIUM TIMES had earlier on Monday reported the insistence of the deceased’s father, Sylvester Oromoni Snr, that his son was bullied to death, even as he lamented the attitude of the school management to the development.
The letter, which was dated December 6, 2021 and signed by Taiwo Olawale, a copy of which was obtained by this newspaper, was specifically addressed to the chief coroner, high court of Lagos State.
Entitled; “Request for Inquest into the Tragic Death of Sylvester Oromoni killed at Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos,” noted that based on the briefings by the family, the late student died as a result of injuries allegedly inflicted on him by his seniors at the school.”
The letter reads in part: “Given the needless death of Sylvester Oromoni, we are compelled to request you to use your good offices to cause a coroner’s inquest to be conducted into the cause of death of this young and promising boy and make appropriate recommendations pursuant to Section 15 of the Lagos State Coroner’s Law 2007 that states that an inquest shall hold whenever a coroner is informed that the death of a deceased person within his coroner district is as a result of a death in a violent, unnatural or suspicious situation.
“We hereby request your lordship to conduct an inquest into the circumstance surrounding this tragic death and we are confident that your lordship will accede to our request with utmost urgency.”
Parent narrates son’s experience
Meanwhile, a parent, identified as Nikky Ufondu on her Instagram account, has taken to her page to narrate what she described as a scary experience of her then 10-year-old son at the school in 2013.
According to Ms Ufondu, the boy had complained bitterly about his experiences in the hands of those he described as bullies, who he accused of robbing his son of his money, provisions and other belongings.
The mother of three disclosed that she removed her son from the college after his first term in JSS1, accusing the school management of being concerned about school fees only and not the children’s wellbeing.
She added that her son’s case was not different from that of several other kids in the school, who she noted had faced similar bullying challenges and that she made the decision for his only son, whom she identified simply as Henry, to leave the college.
And just as the deceased’s father accused the school management of not asking after the late Oromoni junior, Ms Ufondu also said: “After removing Henry, who is my only son, from the Dowen College, the school management never reached out to me, nor find out why I took my son away from the school; only his teacher who knew of the incident contacted me months after we withdrew the young man from the school.”
In a report by an online newspaper, TheGuild, Ms Ufondu added that: “I have to tell the story now. Maybe it would serve as a lesson to other parents and save several other innocent children currently in the same situation since we can no longer trust schools’ management.”
The news of Sylvester’s experience which led to his untimely death broke last week when his cousin- Perrison Oromoni, went on social media to narrate how he had died and went as far as calling out the names of his cousin’s alleged killers.
Perrison said the school called the deceased’s father, telling him that his son sustained injuries while playing football at the school.
But the school has consistently denied connivance, saying it is committed to unravelling the circumstances surrounding the young boy’s death.
So far, the school has sent out two statements. In the first release which was signed by the principal, Adebisi Layiwola, the school denied that Sylvester was beaten by students, insisting that he fell while playing football.
The second release, however, noted that the school is doing everything to assist the police in their investigations.
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