No Cult In Dowen College, Sylvester’s House Parent Says
Hammed Ayomo, a teacher and house parent of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni (Junior), a pupil of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, who died in controversial circumstances, on Monday, told a coroner inquest that he was not aware of any cult in the school.
The news of Sylvester’s death went viral following a social media post by his cousin, Perry Oromoni, who alleged that some senior pupils of the college beat him up in his hostel because he refused to join a cult.
But the school denied the claim, stating that the boy complained of leg pain following an injury he sustained while playing football.
A coroner inquest was set up to look into the circumstances surrounding the death.
Ayomo, while being cross-examined by the school counsel, Izuchukwu Ohajinwa, told the inquest that there was no cult in the school, adding that it was not possible for the deceased to be beaten by the suspected students.
He said, “No cult in Dowen. The rooms are closely linked together and it’s impossible for the deceased to be dragged down and beaten with a belt by other students.”
Ayomo told the inquest that the principal was in school on Sunday, November 28, 2021, during one of the visiting days of the students and he notified her that Sylvester was sick.
He said, “On Saturday, November 27, 2021, I called the deceased’s mum to ask after Sly (Sylvester); she said they were in church and that the healing hands of God were upon him and I was happy to hear that.
“On the visiting day on Sunday, November 28, 2021, the principal was around and I told her one of our boys went home and he was staying too long. She asked for his mum’s number and then called, but there was no response.
“I called the mum with my phone and she picked and I connected the two of them and while the principal was talking with the mum, we heard him screaming in the background and the principal asked why he was screaming; the mum said they were massaging his body and the principal prayed for him.”
However, Ayomo, while answering questions from the Coroner, Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri, noted that he was not aware that the school disciplined the students alleged to have asked the deceased to describe his sister’s private parts.
He said, “There is standard practice on discipline in the school and I’m aware of the private part issue of the deceased’s sister and it was a major issue. I reported to the director of hostels, who in turn punished the students. I heard that the father of the deceased reported to the school, but I’m not aware if they took any action.
“As a father, I won’t be happy about such an incident and I would have notified the school and if I’m aware no sanction was meted out to the accused students, I would still have confidence in the school.”
Ayomo added that the school had been carrying out precaCult, Dowen College, Sylvester Oromoni utionary methods, including installing CCTVs on the school premises and building rooms for housemasters on each floor of the boarding house.