By Uche Amunike
About 100,000 people have signed two different petitions, asking that all those responsible for Sylvester Oromoni’s death, be fished out and prosecuted with immediate effect.
Timi Oromoni, who is related to the family of the deceased twelve-year-old Sylvester, kicked off the first petition titled ‘Justice for Sylvester Oromoni Junior’ and this already attracted over 65,000 signatures as at 1 p.m. on Sunday. It was signed on the Change.org platform, asking for the immediate prosecution of all those responsible for Sylvester Oromoni’s death.
Here are excerpts of the petition: ‘On Tuesday 30/11/2021 we lost our brother, 12yr old Sylvester Oromoni Jnr. He was taken from us in the most gruesome of manner, beaten by five senior boys in his hostel in Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos State.The students are from influential families and the school is trying to bury the case’.
‘Sign and help us find justice for Sylvester Oromoni, Jnr. It’s our fight. He could be your son, your brother, your cousin. #justiceforsylvester#.
The Irede Foundation, on their part, started the second petition with the title, ‘We want Justice for Sylvester’ and has attracted over 50,000 signatures as at the time this report was filed.
It partly says, ‘We need the police to act immediately and investigate the circumstances and events that led to his death. We’re asking the Lagos Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo and officials of the Lagos State Universal Education Board, and the Federal Ministry of Education to probe allegations of bullying and negligence’.
‘We’re asking for a thorough and transparent investigation and prosecution of those found to be culpable in this tragic incident’.
The petition demanded Justice to be served and also seen to be served for Sylvester Oromoni’s death.
Recall that the 12year old boarding student of high brow Dowen College in the Lekki area of Lagos had died from injuries reportedly sustained from an assault by his senior school mates who wanted to initiate him into cultism even though the school authorities claim that his death was caused by injuries sustained during a football match in the school.
In an interview with Arise TV, the older Sylvester Oromoni mentioned the names of three, out of the five senior students that he claimed molested his son, saying that the his son mentioned their names before he gave up the ghost.
After giving a comprehensive report about the ordeal his son went through, he demanded that his son, Sylvester Oromoni’s death should not pass for nothing and that it was necessary that the Nigerian police did the needful to fish out the culprits.
He thanked the Lagos State government for taking the prompt action of closing down the school indefinitely, while stating that it was wrong for the school to continue with online lessons after they were closed down by the state government as it showed that his son, Sylvester Oromoni’s death meant nothing to them.
He lamented that ever since his son’s death, the owner of the school and even the teachers have not deemed it fit to call his family to commiserate with them, aside from one teacher whose name he couldn’t recall.
He noted that the only time the principal of the school called him was to be written for sending out horrific pictures of the boy to public.
Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu already ordered the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department at Panti to handle the investigation of the case of Sylvester Oromoni’s death, immediately.
The senior Sylvester Oromoni thanked Nigerians for all their encouragement and positive statements on social media as well as their demand for justice for his son, as it was one of the reasons why he discarded his plans of committing suicide, saying that his son Sylvester was his last child and was so special to him that he had to give him his name, ‘Sylvester’.
He reiterated that it was unfair for Dowen College, Lekki to presently have online lessons for students of the school even though the government had shut down the school, saying that his son, who died as a result of bullying from the school was supposed to be a part of the ongoing school lessons, as well as his daughter who was also in senior class, in same school.
Sylvester Oromoni’s death is just one, out of the countless painful deaths resulting from bullying in boarding schools spread across the country.