Opinion (7/12/2021): Sylvester’s Dying Declaration: A Call For Sylvester’s Law – By Titus Orngu

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It is no longer news that Sylvester Oromoni jnr. the 11-yr old student of the elitist secondary school, Dowen College in Lekki is dead. He died few days to his 12th birthday which was to be on the 12th December, 2021. Before he died, he opened up to his parents and narrated the source of his excruciating pains which would ultimately claim his life. According to him, and contrary to the yarn the school was spinning, he did not play any football, not to talk of sustaining any injuries at the football field.
He narrated how five senior students of the college came into his hostel room, switched off the lights and started beating him with belts till he fell from his double-bunk bed unto the floor and how they continued beating and kicking him till they forced a substance into his mouth. He did not stop there. He named five of the boys who did this to him and the reason for such treatment – because he refused to join their secret cult. Shortly after this heart-rending exposition, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr breathed his last.
The beating to death of any one is bad enough; what more, an innocent aspiring pilot. But the attitude of the management of Dowen College is worse than the act. Instead of giving up the alleged culprits of this brazen cult murder to face the music of the law, the school is neck deep in protecting them from the public and the law. This is obnoxious, to say the least.
A dying declaration is a very strong, highly incontrovertible evidence admissible even in the court of law. In the state that Sylvester was in, it is highly improbable that whatever injuries he sustained were from football, as the school would want the world to believe. If he was playing football, who was he playing with? Would the school bring out the names of the other students he was playing with?
Needless to say, that a roommate of Sylvester has come out, albeit anonymously, to corroborate what he said before he passed and contradict what the school said. Sylvester was tortured to death by some privileged bullies whose parents feel are untouchable as we hear two of them have been ferried across the shores of the country.
Another annoying thing is the fact that in spite of the pains the young innocent boy was going through, the school management did not take any serious steps to get him immediate medical help and stuck to their lie that he sustained injuries on the football field; a claim one of his roommates has debunked. In the said interview, the roommate said the house master, one Mr. Ahmed, knew that Sylvester was tortured because they reported to him. In fact, it was the bullies that spun the football yarn which the principal and the school’s management latched on.
As unfortunate as this death is, it is time to rise up and stamp out harassment of pupils in school with a Sylvester Law. The law should stipulate punishment for bullies and parents of bullies. Yes, if you cannot raise your child properly so that he lives with others in the society, you should share in the proceeds of his bullying, most especially when you are shielding such a child from the arm of the law as in the case of the parents of the two accused bullies ferried out of the country. When and if this law is passed, such parents would know better than failing to curtail the bullish tendencies of their children at home. And if and when their children are found to be involved in such act, they would willingly wash their hands off and allow the children to stew in their broth.
It is commendable that the family of Sylvester Oromoni has decided not to take laws into their hands by going after the parents of the murderers of their son. Some other persons would have conveniently found a way to eliminate them just as it happened with a former top naval officer. His son was accused of killing another student in the university and he ferried the son out of the country. The people whose child was killed waited till he was out of power and without his naval aides. They followed him from the Church of The Assumption in Falomo and shot him dead at the gate of his house.
With their approach, one hopes that the principal of Dowen College, Adebisi Layiwola, and the house master, Mr. Ahmed would have the opportunity to prove to the world that actually, Sylvester was playing football and they truly believe that he sustained such injuries on the football field. With this approach, one hopes that the nation will prevail on the parents who have ferried their children out of the country to bring them back to the temple of Justice.
As painful as Sylvester’s death is, if the Sylvester law is passed, his death will become therapeutic as it shall help to stamp out the menace of bullying and the protection of bullies from prosecution.

– Orngu is a concerned Nigerian

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