*Online petition to probe school and prosecute culprits garner 198,000 votes
To ensure justice and prosecution of the culprits responsible for the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni, his bereaved family on Monday hired human rights lawyer and activist, Femi Falana.
Oromoni, a junior secondary school two student of Dowen College, Lagos, was said to have died after some senior students bullied and beat him up in the hostel.
Although the college had maintained its stance that the teen died from wounds sustained while playing football, his family, who vowed to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion, said the deceased opened up before his death and named the culprits.
Taking concrete steps in pursuing justice after the Lagos State government sealed the school indefinitely, the family hired Falana to prosecute the case against the institution.
Acting upon the brief, Falana’s Chambers in a letter signed by Taiwo Olawale, wrote to the office of Lagos State’s chief coroner requesting an inquest into the circumstances leading to the death of the child.
Titled “Request for Inquest into the Tragic Death of Sylvester Oromoni killed at Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos”, the letter posited that based on the briefings by the family, the deceased died as a result of injuries allegedly inflicted on him by his seniors at the school.
The letter read, “Given the needless death of Sylvester Oromoni, we are compelled to request you to use your good offices to cause a coroner’s inquest to be conducted into the cause of death of this young and promising boy and make appropriate recommendations pursuant to Section 15 of the Lagos State Coroner’s Law 2007 that states that and inquest shall hold whenever a coroner is informed that the death of a deceased person within his coroner district is as a result of a death in a violent, unnatural or suspicious situation.
“We hereby request your lordship to conduct an inquest into the circumstance surrounding this tragic death and we are confident that your lordship will accede to our request with utmost urgency.”
In a statement by the family, they noted that all they want is for the guardians or parents of the boys to be fished out for questioning since the said culprits have been ferreted out.
Meanwhile, the family has distanced itself from an ongoing fundraiser by unknown persons, who are cashing in on the unfortunate situation.
The family in a post said: “Some people have gone ahead to open donation sites and what not. my family never and would never ask anyone for
money. All we need is your voice to seek justice for Sylvester Junior. Please let’s be guided.”
Meanwhile, as at press time, an online petition started on Change.org has already garnered 198, 807 votes- just a few votes away from the required 200,000 votes to make it one of the top signed votes.
Started by Irede Foundation, they asked questions like “did the school do enough to protect Sylvester; how were the injuries that led to his death sustained; and was the school negligent in protecting its students?”
While stating that there are so many questions and not enough answers, they charged 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.
” Social protection is particularly important for children, in view of this crime, we also throw in our concern for children with disabilities to ensure the protection of children is inclusive of them. Justice must be served and seen to be served for 12 year old Sylvester and his family.”