CRIVIFON Condemns Torture Of Sylvester Oromoni, Tells Police Not To Compromise Investigation On Cause Of Death

Late Sylvester Oromoni

By Frank Oshanugor

Nigeria’s foremost advocate of the rights of victims of crime and human rights awareness organisation, the Crime Victims Foundation of Nigeria (CRIVIFON) has strongly condemned the bully and torture of 12-year-old Master Sylvester Oromoni by his fellow students at Dowen College, Lekki Lagos and his subsequent death last Tuesday.

CRIVIFON Boss Mrs. Gloria Egbuji

In a signed statement by the Executive Director of the Foundation, Barr.(Mrs) Gloria Egbuji on Monday, CRIVIFON said the circumstances which led to the death of Oromoni as narrated by his father on Arise Television News interview, were quite condemnable, given the status of the college.

The Foundation pointed out that if the authorities of Dowen College had played their role very well, they would have been able to detect the bullying, torture and psychological trauma the young Oromoni was going through which eventually led to sickness and his subsequent death.

“If Dowen College authorities had been mindful of the fact that as an ivy league school where huge sum of money is paid as fees, they should have shown more commitment in the welfare and safety of their students,” the statement said.

The Foundation wondered why the management of the College could not take a proactive interest in handling the initial concerns raised about Sylvester’s safety by his elder sister Amanda Oromoni who is also a student of the College.

In light of the inexplicable circumstances that surround the death of the student and the alleged report that some of those fingered in bullying and torturing him have already been relocated overseas by their parents, CRIVIFON would want the police authorities not to stop at anything to bringing to justice anyone directly or remotely connected to the gruesome incident.

According to the statement, police investigation should be able to identify those students who bullied, tortured Oromoni and administered chemical substance on him in his boarding room in the cover of dark.

“If it is discovered that anyone of them has relocated to anywhere, the parents should be held responsible to produce such students to face prosecution. If they have relocated outside Nigeria, Interpol can be used to bring them back to the country in the light of the grievousness of the offence,” it further said.

Following social media report of the incident, the Lagos State Government has ordered the indefinite closure of the College while investigation has to commence by the police even though Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Adekunle Ajisebutu at the weekend said the incident was not officially reported by authorities of the College.

For the prompt action taken so far, CRIVIFON has commended the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Delta State counterpart, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.

Since the story went viral, many Nigerians and groups have condemned the acts of bullying and cultism which are now fast becoming a trend in Nigeria’s public and private secondary schools.

Even though the students may be minors, the Foundation noted that act of bullying, torturing and cultism which could lead to future thuggery in the political space creates a dangerous trend. “Therefore, the law should take its course,” it added.

Dowen College is a co-education secondary school located in Lekki; a suburb of Lagos. The College takes both boarding and day students and admits then between the ages of 11-18 years.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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