Ahmed Ayomo, a teacher and houseparent at the Dowen College in Lagos, says the school has begun the installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras following the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.
According to NAN, Ayomo, who has been an Islamic Religion Studies (IRS) teacher and housemaster in the school for 13 years, spoke on Monday before an Ikeja coroner’s court unravelling the circumstances surrounding the student’s death.
While answering questions from Mikhail Kadiri, the coroner, Ayomo, who served as a guardian to the late student, also told the court that to ensure the safety and security of students, additional apartments for houseparents were being built on each block of hostels in the college.
At the last hearing on February 22, Bamidele Olusegun, a police officer with the homicide section of the Lagos State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, had revealed that the sister of the deceased told him that her late brother was also bullied sometime in October 2021 and that the boy who allegedly bullied him was not punished for the act.
Regarding the bullying allegation, Ayomo said he was not aware if the school management took any disciplinary action against the student that asked the deceased to describe the private part of his elder sister.
“The Assistant Director of the hostel, Mr Valentine, punished the student for the act but I am not aware of the management as a whole took any disciplinary action against him,” he said.
Then Kadiri asked, “As a father, if it were you, how would you feel? Would you still have confidence in the school?”
Ayomo responded that he would not feel happy but he would still have confidence in the school.
Earlier, while being cross-examined by Andrew Efole, counsel to the Oromoni family, the witness said the late student never complained to him about some senior students demanding his provisions.
Efole, referencing the statements of witnesses to the police, disputed Ayomo’s claim.
He said that he was aware that the deceased informed the teacher about some senior students wanting to take his provisions from him.
Efole enquired again if the deceased ever complained to Ayomo, as his house parent, that his provisions were being taken away by some senior students.
The witness then replied in the affirmative.
“If I confront you with a document to the effect that he complained to you, would you want the court to regard you as a witness that lacks integrity?” Efole said.
“I want to refer the court to a statement made by the witness dated Dec.12, 2021, at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Panti, Yaba, Lagos.
“It reads: ‘Sylvester Oromoni was well known to me as his houseparent. He complained that some people were begging him for his provisions, that he would like to be keep the provisions in my house for protection’.
“This statement was written by you.”
The witness replied in the affirmative, adding that it was his document.
Oromoni died on November 30, 2021, from injuries alleged to have been sustained in an attack by five senior students of Dowen College who the family had claimed bullied the 12-year-old for refusing to join a cult.
The Lagos state DPP’s advice released on January 4 also disputed the allegation, stating that an autopsy had revealed the cause of Oromoni’s death as acute bacterial pneumonia due to severe sepsis.
Mikhail Kadiri, the coroner, adjourned proceedings for the continuation of cross-examination.
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