Dowen College shuts down over 12-year-old student ‘beaten to death for refusing to join cult’

dowen college shuts down over 12 year old student beaten to death for refusing to join cult

Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, has shut down, directing students and staff to stay away from the school, following the death of a 12-year-old student, Sylvester Oromoni, after being tortured for refusing to join a cult group.

In an email sent to the parents and guardians, the management asked students to stay at home on Friday and Monday.

“In view of the current situation concerning the school and considering the emotions of our students, we have advised that our students stay home tomorrow Friday 3rd and Monday 6th,” said the email seen on Twitter.

Dowen College added, “This will also afford the students the opportunity to revise for their forthcoming examinations starting next week.”

A tweet stated that policemen barricaded the school as young Oromoni’s death elicited outrage.

“The police presence in front and around the school is mad,” a Twitter user identified as Anietie Briggs wrote.

However, the spokesperson for the police in Lagos, Adekunle Ajisebutu, did not respond to a request by The Gazette seeking to confirm whether the police granted protection for the school and if the school has been invited for interrogations.

There have been calls for the school to be shut down after a relative of the deceased, Perrison Oromoni, claimed the 12-year-old, a JS2 student, died after he was tortured for refusing to join a cult group at the college.

“Before passing, he said they’d been pressuring him to join a cult. He was admitted on Friday. He said they were going to kill him if he talked,” the relative said.

The late Oromoni was also said to have listed a few names of fellow students who pressured him to join the group before he died.

A video of his final moments showed that young Oromoni had injuries on him, with his lips swollen as blood was also spotted on his teeth, indicating he was also wounded in the mouth.

But the school management, in a statement released on Thursday, said the late Oromoni had complained of pains in the hip on November 22 but felt better after medications were administered at the school’s sickbay.

It admitted that his parents were summoned to get further medical care but claimed that “no part of the body was injured after X-rays were conducted.”

Dowen College’s management had also denied that cult members tortured the boy. But a student alleged to be a friend of young Oromoni said two of the accused students have fled the school premises.

It was alleged in a video on Twitter that one of them was picked with a convoy around 5:00 a.m. on Thursday, while another allegedly flew over the school’s fence.

The Gazette could not immediately reach the director of students affairs, Lami Williams, and two other representatives of the school for comments.

When contacted by The Gazette, the Lagos State Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA) director-general, Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, described the incident as “unfortunate.” 

“We’re on it, and the investigation is ongoing. We have been to the school, and we’re meeting them again,” said Ms Seriki-Ayeni. “We’re very saddened by the turn of events. You will get formal correspondence when investigations are concluded as we do not want to spread fake news.”

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