In muffled tones infrequently betraying days of repressed emotion and panic, Sylvester Oromoni, the father of four, mourned the death of his 12-year-old son who was the middle-class family’s lastborn. The late boy, named after his father and fondly called Junior, passed away while nursing multiple internal injuries alleged to have been sustained after he was bullied by his fellow students.
In hospital footage that his family shared with TheCable Lifestyle, an unclad Sylvester Oromoni Junior was seen writhing in pain. His teeth were stained dark red with blood. His legs were swollen and his belly was bloated. At the boy’s side was his mother cursing under her breath and decrying the handiwork of those who “hit my boy like this”. After days of struggling to save Junior’s life, the pupil of Dowen College Lagos would later lie stone dead before his father.
The details surrounding the case would remain shrouded in uncertainty for 24 hours. Perry Oromoni, his nephew, took to Twitter to share his account of what transpired, alluding to how the deceased was attacked for vehemently declining to join what he termed the secondary school’s “cult group” dominated by older boys at the institution located in Lekki.
In a follow-up statement, Dowen College had debunked the claims and gave its own account of the events that claimed Junior’s life. It said one of the school’s hostel officials had informed the management on November 21 that Junior was injured while playing football with his colleagues. The school also disclosed that he was given first aid by a resident nurse and returned to his hostel after he expressed relief. It said Junior started complaining of pain in his hip the next day.
Dowen College said the student was attended to, a second time, by a doctor at the school’s sickbay. It added that the doctor later called Junior’s mother to inform her of the situation and thereafter recommended that he be picked up. It claimed that, after an initial delay, the student’s mother sent a guardian who took him for an x-ray. It denied that the boy was beaten and debunked the allegation that there existed a clandestine group priding themselves as a cult.
“Preliminary investigation showed that there was no fighting, bullying, or any form of attack on the boy. He made no such reports, neither to his sister who is also a student, nor any other students, prefects, house parents, medical staff, or any of the management staff. The school has 2 regular nurses and a qualified medical doctor that promptly attends to students. [We] will not tolerate any acts of cultism which is why there is nothing like that,” the school had said.