By Adesina Wahab
The death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni, a student of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos State has continued to generate public interest, as the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, South-West Zone, has set up a fact-finding committee to look into the matter.
The student body has also pledged to take up the case and ensure that justice is done.
The Zonal Coordinator, Comrade Kappo Olawale Samuel, said this on Monday, adding that the committee to be set up was in line with the directive of the national leadership of the association that the zonal body should step into the matter.
He added that the fact-finding committee would comprise 11 members.
“The deceased was a student before he died and NANS is for the interest of all students and this matter must be pursued to a logical conclusion. A viral video shared by the family has shown how Sylvester was writhing in pain while bleeding from his mouth. His lips appeared swollen and his teeth looked broken.
“According to one of his relatives, the deceased mentioned the names of five persons who are also students of Dowen College, Lekki whom he said were allegedly responsible for his injuries before he finally died on Tuesday, 30th of November 2021.
“In their response to the student’s death, the Dowen College management in a statement claimed the deceased sustained injuries while playing football and was given immediate medical attention by the school’s medical personnel.
The school denied that Sylvester had been bullied or attacked by some students in the school and said it had carried out a preliminary investigation, where its officials claimed that there was no case of bullying, adding that it has policies that are strongly anti-cultism.
“The deceased, according to his parents in media reports had also alleged that he was given a substance to drink by the ‘bullies’.
The efforts by the school management are not enough. Concrete investigations must be done to discover what really happened to Sylvester.
“It is on this premise, that the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students South-West Zone, has recommended and submitted an 11-man investigating committee as requested by the national leadership of NANS and we expect that in due course the leadership will ratify and publish the names of the members of the committee.
“The committee’s duty and obligation are to unravel what transpired and led to the death of this young boy and give necessary measures or solutions that will hinder future occurrences.
“We also need the police to act immediately and investigate the circumstances and events that led to his death.
We have informed the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo and officials of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, and the Federal Ministry of Education to probe allegations of bullying and negligence.
“A thorough and transparent investigation and prosecution of those found to be culpable in this saddening incident have been requested. Social protection is particularly important for children, in view of this crime, we also throw in our concern for children with disabilities to ensure the protection of children is inclusive of them.
Justice must be served and seen to be served for this 12-year-old Sylvester and his family, as injustice anywhere is definitely an injustice to everyone,” he said.