Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the Federal Attorney General, the Minister of Education and the Lagos State’s Attorney General and Education Commission to jointly conduct transparent investigation on the unexplained death of the 12 year old student of Dowen College Lagos Sylvester Oromoni Junior.
HURIWA commended the Lagos State Government for shutting down the school indefinitely just as it tasked the Federal Capital Territory Administration to follow such proactive step by closing down Premiere Academy Lugbe Abuja found in similar circumstances whereby a 14 year old female Student was raped to death.
“We call on the honourable Attorney General of the Federation, the ministers of Education, Lagos State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Education to intervene in the alleged gruesome murder by suspected students’ cultists in Dowen college of the 12 year old Sylvester Oromoni Junior, a student of Dowen College who died after an alleged encounter with some of his Co-students who wanted to conscript him into an existing cult group in the college. The Federal and Lagos State’s administrations need to do this by activating transparent, open and credible mechanisms to probe the remote, immediate circumstantial and factual reasons for the death of the innocent student. The governments need to do this to assure the citizens and the World that school children are guaranteed their Human Rights and are protected from unwarranted bullying, torture, physical assaults, rape and murder by either their fellow students or management staff”.
HURIWA in a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, said the silence of the federal government’s relevant officials aforementioned is sending signal to the rest of the world that students are exposed to physical violence and that federal government fails in her obligation to care and protect children. HURIWA said it was gratifying that the Lagos State Government has acted timeously to investigate the matter but HURIWA warned the Lagos State Government not to sacrifice the victim on the altar of political patronage since the Parents of the suspected killers named by the victim are said to be wealthy and had reportedly taken those kids to a foreign jurisdiction soon after their victim of persistent bullying and torture had died.
The Rights group said the killing of the Dowen Sudent coming few months after another 14 year old female student was sexually violated and murdered including the incessant kidnappings by terrorists of students without Federal government ever bringing the culprits to justice, has demonstrated a systemic failing on the part of central government to carry out the most fundamental duty of government which is protection of lives and property. HURIWA said any government that fails to protect school children is not fit to be addressed as a legitimate government.
HURIWA recalled that a 12-year-old boy, Sylvester Oromoni, Jr, was allegedly beaten to death in a privately-owned Lagos school for refusing to join a cult.
A Twitter user identified as Perrie (@perrisonoromoni) on Wednesday claimed the victim was his cousin.
“This is my 12 years old cousin that was beaten to death at a school that cost over 1 million naira,” Perrie posted on Twitter, attaching the tweet with the photo of the deceased.
“They called my uncle that he got injured playing football. Reaching the hospital, it was confirmed that he was being bullied and beaten up causing internal damages. They tried to put him in a cult, he refused and they killed him. [In a] secondary school. They literally beat him to death,” he tweeted.
HURIWA said Perrie also reportedly said that the 12-year-old was battered on Friday but died on Tuesday after a series of tests and X-rays indicated that he sustained internal injuries.
According to @Perrisonoromoni, the school management had reached out to Sylvester Oromoni, the deceased’s father, a Delta State politician, claiming the boy sustained injuries while playing football at the school.
“We’re from Delta State, but he goes to a boarding school in Lekki. They called my uncle that his son was injured when he was playing football. Reaching the hospital, it was confirmed that he was being bullied and beaten up, causing internal damages,” the relative disclosed.
“After tests and X-rays, it was confirmed he was beaten up badly. He died yesterday (Tuesday) morning, and his entire body was swollen,” he said.
Asked if the deceased had previously complained about pressures to join a cult group, @Perrisonoromoni stated that the young Oromoni only informed his parents while in the hospital. Before his death, he reportedly said the school’s cult members threatened to kill him if he reported them. 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.”
HURIWA recalled that the deceased was also said to have mentioned a few names of the students who pressured him to join their cult group before he died.
A Dowen College representative, Ms Ayomide Falona, said that she could not give details on the matter as investigations are ongoing but denied that the school harboured cult members.
HURIWA lamented that a sinister pattern is emerging of school children been raped, tortured or killed just as the Rights group mentioned a related case of Keren-Happuch, a 14 year old who was reportedly raped at a private school in Abuja.
Mrs Akpagher the Mother had made the plea at a news conference which held recently at the secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory FCT Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ. She had said: “I named my daughter Keren-Happuch, which means God has filled my cup, but Premiere Academy, Lugbe took the cup emptied the water and broke the cup. The cup I gave to Premiere Academy full, they returned to me empty and broken. This is too much to take. My heart is in turmoil”, she said tearfully.
The bereaved mother who spoke for the first time since her daughter died following medical complications arising from sepsis condemned what she called a deliberate distortion of facts and publicity stunt by Premiere Academy, Lugbe in order to preserve their business interest without regards to the life of my daughter which they have cut short
She said: “Gentlemen of the press, you would have noticed that since my daughter died, instead of the management of Premiere Academy, Lugbe allowing my family to grieve and mourn her, Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja has been preoccupied with wanting to look good to the public rather than work to bring out the rapist.
HURIWA is therefore urging the Federal government to take every step to ensure that school children are protected just as the Rights group tasked the Minister of FCT to follow the good examples of Lagos state government by shutting down indefinitely the Premiere Academy Abuja until satisfactory outcomes about the untimely deaths of these school children are ascertained to its logical conclusion.