Following Wednesday’s clearance of 10 students and staff of Dowen College by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of their involvement in the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni, some Niger Delta youths yesterday stormed the school in protest.
Clad in white shirts with inscriptions on it, the group issued an ultimatum to the school, warning that it must not open on Monday, else they would strongly resist it.
According to them, the school cannot resume like other schools in the state when justice was yet to be served.
Following legal advice of the DPP, the Lagos State government had cleared five students which included 16-year-old Favour Benjamin, 15-year-old Micheal Kashamu, 16-year-old Edward Begue, 14-year-old Ansel Temile and 15-year-old Kenneth Inyang.
Also cleared were five members of staff: Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Ayomo Bariyu, Adesanya Olusesan Olusegun and one Adeyemi.
The autopsy and toxicology reports of post-mortem samples established the cause of death as Septicaemia, Lobar Pneumonia with Acute Pyelonephritis, Pyomyositis of the right ankle and Acute Bacteria Pneumonia due to severe Sepsis.
According to the youths, they were there to express their anger and grievances with the, “fake and corrupt report released by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution that this school where cultists are being trained is cleared.
“They cleared the same people that killed our son without trial, without concluded investigation; they said they cleared this school to open.
“If they open this school, the whole Ijaw nation will come here, let them try it and see, if they open this school on Monday, the whole Ijaw nation will come, we will come with our school bags, feeding bottles and join them here.
“Let them bring armoured tanks here, we have the capacity. If they refuse to give us justice, this school will not be open.
“We want to send a message to the governor of this state. I believe he is a well-trained person, if he supports injustice, then this school will not have peace.
“Nobody can stop us, when this thing happened, we said we want justice. We folded our hands, this is the first time in the whole world we heard that before an investigation is concluded, before a case got to court, all of a sudden, during holiday, they tried the case in their houses and cleared them.
“Our son cannot die and their children will walk in here, it’s not possible, we want justice, justice is not done served.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Ministry of Education has directed the management of Dowen College, Lekki to correct identified lapses in the school’s administration as discovered during the ministry’s inspection and comprehensive investigation following the death of a student, Sylvester Oromoni.
The ministry was reacting to the advice of the Directorate of Public Prosecution to the police that Oromoni’s death could not be linked to alleged bullying.
The Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, said this while clarifying the fate of Dowen College students in view of the resumption of schools for the second term in Lagos State.
She said the Ministry of Education was reviewing the operational guidelines of boarding schools and the requirement for establishing a boarding school in Lagos State.
She hinted that the ministry would begin the revalidation of all existing boarding school facilities after the mid-term holidays.
The commissioner said the ministry’s departments and agencies responsible for monitoring and inspection of schools were being overhauled to improve efficiency.
She concluded that Dowen College management had been mandated to fix school governance gaps and other regulatory issues.
“We will consider the possibility of reopening the school only when all issues surrounding school administration have been appropriately attended to,” Adefisayo said.