Why Dowen College Should Be Reopened  

Akin Olayemi

As days run into weeks, the Lagos state government, management of Dowen College and other concerned actors, excluding the parents of the deceased, are gradually moving closer to unravelling the mysteries behind the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, a 12-year-old student of Dowen College whose death occurred months ago.

Permit my bluntness for excluding the parents of Sylvester but it was based on obvious facts.

It was deliberate because they knew the truth about the state of health of the victim but knowingly hid it away from the public, particularly the school management.

But for the sagacity of the Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu who, in his wisdom ordered a thorough investigation into the unfortunate incident, the world would have been led astray and deceived into believing that Dowen College management and the alleged students had a hand in the death of the late student.

Importantly, Dowen College would have been christened names that doesn’t belong to it and the college would remain shut while students of the prestigious College would endlessly remained shut out of their academics.

The past few weeks at the ongoing coroner inquest sitting in Epe, Lagos have been revealing. It is an eye opener.

An eye opener in that it has opened our inner eyes and minds to why Dowen College should not have been shut in the first place.

For me, as a concerned Nigerian that has been following the incidence, I honestly do not see any reason the College should remain under lock and key despite the advice by Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), conclusion of investigation by the Lagos Police Command and most ESPECIALLY revelations from the ongoing coroner inquest in Epe.


But since a whole  lot has been said on the DPP’s advice and the investigation by the Police, my focus will be on the ongoing coroner inquest.

Mr Peter Odewo-Oritse is the Operations Manager at Ken Ben Nig. Ltd., a company in Warri, Delta State, owned by the father of late Sylvester Oromoni. He was second witness at the coroner inquest.

According to him, the deceased had been diagnosed with enlarged liver but the family did not take him to a hospital.

As a parent, I would say his submission was reckless and irresponsible. It was an height of negligence!

What manner of parent would know the true state of health of his child and would deliberately left it uncared for? Or hid such vital information away from his caregivers.

It is a pity that the brilliant young boy fell victim of poor parenting which eventually led to his death.

Similarly, another Witness, Clifford Tejere, who was guardian to the late Sylvester Oromoni, said he attempted to engage the boy in a game of soccer on PlayStation 4 while he was groaning in PAIN

He said this during cross-examination by Anthony Kpokpo, counsel of Dowen College.

Again, this is a case of self-deceit and ignorance about what needed to be done in an emergency situation as Sylvester was.

My God rest the gentle soul of that brilliant and promising young boy!

On Friday, Counsel to the Oromoni’s family Mr. Olawale Taiwo from the law firm of Messrs Femi Falana, SAN applied for the hearing to be adjourned  indefinitely while claiming that the application was made on grounds that other parties to the proceedings have not filled their witness depositions.

As a layman in law profession, I also found that application by the family as tragic and fatalistic just like the lawyer from the other party said.

From what has played out so far, it’s a disservice for hundreds of students of Dowen College to remain at home while their counterparts elsewhere are continuing with academic activities.

It’s a great injustice to these crops of leaders of tomorrow to continue to deny them access to their place of learning.

As the saying goes in law, facts speak for themselves. It is clear AGAIN that Dowen College, it’s management and the wrongly accused students are not complicit in the death of the 12-year-old pupil, Sylvester Oromoni.

Based on the foregoing, I would enjoin the Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu to reopen the school immediately based on this fact and remember that other students that are more than 500 are home doing nothing and have missed quality learning and examinations due to this fault-finding and blame shifting games by Oromoni family.

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