The Lagos State Government has ordered the indefinite closure of Dowen College, located in the Lekki area of the state.
This is pending the outcome of an investigation into the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, a student of the school.
The announcement was contained in a statement signed on Friday by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs, of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Ganiu Lawal.
The statement added that the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo announced the closure of the school after a meeting with the School Management and Staff.
The Commissioner also called for calm, saying no effort will be spared in getting to the root of the incident.
A relation of the deceased, Perrison Oromoni on Wednesday in a series of tweets using the handle @Perrisonoromoni demanded justice for Sylvester. The relative said Sylvester was assaulted by some cult groups, who he mentioned their names before his death.
The relative revealed that the 12-year-old passed away on Tuesday after a series of tests and X-rays indicated that he sustained internal injuries from a severe beating.
However, Dowen College in a press release that also went viral on social media expressed surprise at the allegation.
The school said his injuries were sustained while playing football.
“On the 21st day of November 2021, one of the Hostel Parents reported to the management that the young boy was injured while playing football. The resident registered nurse immediately administered first aid on him and after he expressed relief, was released to return to his hostel room.
“He was in class on Monday 22nd day of November 2021, but during school hours one of his friends accompanied him to the Sick Bay where he complained of some pain in his hip. The doctor examined him and prescribed Ibuprofen for the pain, while the nurse massaged his leg, after which he felt a bit better,” the statement signed by the school principal, Adebisi Layiwola read in part.
The statement claims that in accordance with the school’s policy, “the resident doctor called the deceased’s mother reporting the incident and requesting that she should come for him so that he could get further medical attention”.
“The mother, however, said she was not in Lagos while she spoke and prayed with him on the phone and promised to send the guardian to pick him up immediately for further medical attention.
“When the guardian failed to show up, the next day on the 23rd of November 2021, the doctor called the mother again and this time, she assured that his guardian would pick him from school.”
According to the school, “the guardian later showed up and took the deceased for X-ray, the result of which it said revealed that no part of the boy’s body was broken or injured”.
“The resident doctor also called the mother later in the week to check up on his progress but she informed the doctor that he was sleeping at the time. The Principal also spoke with the mother on the phone to enquire about his progress and she reported that he was having a massage and gave the phone to him to speak with the principal,” the statement added.
Mrs Layiwola reportedly “it was therefore with a rude shock that it received the news of the student’s death and the accompanying allegations”.
In an interview, Sylvester’s father explained that his 12-year-old son who was named after him and fondly called Junior, passed away while nursing multiple internal injuries alleged to have been sustained after he was bullied by his fellow students.
“My son suffered. His birthday is next tomorrow (Dec 4). I’ll celebrate it. I’ll have a cake baked. I’ll cut it on his behalf. The boys they mentioned were also reported to the school last term when they bullied Junior and collected all his foodstuffs; clothes. I have two daughters, one of whom earlier graduated. I had to remove the second after this incident. They asked this boy to describe the sister’s privates and this got to us,” the father said in an interview on Friday.