Nigerians demand justice over death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni

2021-12-06 15:42:47
Nigerians demand justice over death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni

More than 180,000 people in Nigeria have signed petitions demanding justice after the death of a 12-year-old boarding school student in the West African nation.

Sylvester Oromoni's family accuse five fellow students at Dowen College in Lagos of torturing him because he refused to join a cult group.

His death has outraged many in Africa’s most populous country and the school has closed indefinitely.

Multiple petitions are circulating online, calling on the authorities to prosecute those responsible for Oromoni's death and deliver justice to his family. #JusticeForSylvester has continued to trend across social media since last week.

In a statement, Dowen College said the boy died as a result of injuries sustained while playing football. "Preliminary investigation showed there was no fighting, bullying or any form of attack on the boy," it said.

"All I want is justice," Sylvester's father, Sylvester Oromoni Senior, told BBC News Pidgin. He disputes the school's account of what happened.

Sylvester's cousin also alleges that five boys had accosted Sylvester, locking him in his hostel and giving him a chemical to drink. This allegation has not been corroborated by the police yet and are still investigating the crime.

As officers continue their investigation, Sylvester's father says he wants Dowen College to hand over the students he accuses of assaulting his son.

A national students' body says it is creating its own investigating committee. "The deceased was a student before he died and Nans [the National Association of Nigerian Students] is for the interest of all students," the Vanguard newspaper quotes Kappo Olawale Samuel of Nans as saying.

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