Following the controversial death of a student of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, due to alleged bullying and beating by some student cult members, the Lagos State government yesterday ordered indefinite closure of the private school. The directive to close the school, which was announced through a statement, entitled: “Lagos government orders indefinite closure of Dowen College,” from the state Ministry of Education, as a follow-up to an earlier statement issued by the same ministry, which condoled with the bereaved family, and pledged commitment to unravel the mystery surrounding the controversial death.
In the earlier statement, tagged; ‘Lagos commiserates with parents of Dowen College student,” signed by Assistant Director, Public Affairs in the Ministry of Education, Ganiu Lawal, the state government sent condolences to the parents of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni Jnr., a student of Dowen College, Lekki.
The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, noted that the incident was shocking and that the state was indeed sad about the great loss. A delegation, comprising top level management of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Police was said to have visited the college on a fact-finding mission. According to the statement, preliminary investigations had revealed that Oromoni Junior was indeed enrolled as a student of Dowen College in its boarding facility and had been treated by the school’s medical personnel before the school requested that the parents take him away for further care.
“The state government is in touch with the parents in this difficult time. We reassure the family of the late Sylvester Oromoni Jnr and Lagosians at large that efforts are being made to unravel the circumstances leading to his demise, even as we reiterate the government’s commitment to Child Protection,” the earlier statement said. But, a few hours later yesterday, the state government ordered the indef-inite closure of the college, pending the outcome of an investigation and probe into the death of Oromoni. The family of the deceased student alleged that their son was bullied and beaten by some student cultists resulting in his death and that the boy mentioned the five students that beat him for refusing to join their cult group.