Mr. Sylvester Oromoni, the father of the 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lagos, who died after allegedly being tortured by fellow students for refusing to join their cult group in school, has broken his silence.
In an interview with The Cable, the distraught father who was said to have betrayed his emotions while he spoke, said his family watched their last child die in their presence. He said the students whose names his son mentioned before he died were reported to the school authorities for bullying the last term but that the alleged bullying continued afterwards. “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.”
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Mr Oromoni said when the alleged bullying started the last term, the Dowen College authorities temporarily suspended the boys involved after his eldest son took it up and reported the matter. He said his deceased son was also switched to a new hostel in Dowen College but the bullying and intimidation continued into the new term. “They put fear in him so much so that, when you ask him, he might keep to himself and say, ‘they will kill me’. This way, we didn’t know what to do. I considered removing him but reconsidered since his sisters were still in the school. The new incident came to my knowledge on November 21st after the school called my wife to notify us that our son was in the school clinic, injured. My senior son, who was to make a London trip, came to see us in Warri.
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The next day, we sent a family friend to help pick up our son since he was the only person in Lagos and take him to the hospital. When he got there, he panicked, pointing out that he doubts it’s a football injury as the school claimed. He said the boy couldn’t stand because his waist was bent and swollen along with one side of his belly.”
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