Journalism of Courage

Update: Sylvester Oromoni: Dowen College Board Chairman, members step down

The retirement of the board chairman and members followed the death of a 12-year-old boarding student of the school, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.


By Ajuma Edwina Ameh

The Board Chairman and Founder of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, Dr. Olumide Phillips, and members of the school’s board have stepped down from office.

This is also as the management of the school eagerly awaits the directive of the Lagos State Government to reopen the school several weeks after public and private schools reopened for second term in the state.

The retirement of the board chairman and members followed the death of a 12-year-old boarding student of the school, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr. recalls that Oromoni Jnr. died on November 30, 2021, from injuries he sustained after he was allegedly tortured by some senior students of the school.

Before his death, the deceased had mentioned the names of five senior students allegedly responsible for the injuries he sustained when he was attacked in the school.

The Lagos State Government had ordered the indefinite closure of the school pending the outcome of an investigation into the student’s death.

However, autopsy reports issued by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and toxicology report of post mortem samples and that of the Central Hospital, Warri, showed the cause of death as Septicaemia, Lobar Pneumonia with Acute Pyelonephritis, Pyomyositis of the right ankle and Acute Bacteria Pneumonia due to severe Sepsis.

Announcing the mass retirement in a statement signed by Tomi Borisade on behalf of the school in Lagos, the school prayed never to experience such an unfortunate incident again.

The statement reads: “The founding members of the Board of Governors including the Founder and Chairman of the Board, Dr. O. Olumide Phillips, who have worked tirelessly over the years to develop outstanding children both in and out of the school, have chosen to retire and pass the baton of change to a new generation of seasoned professionals who will run with the vision, leadership passion, commitment and values they have worked rigorously to establish.

“This will also enhance communication and effectiveness with the Parents Teachers Forum. May God grant the Oromoni family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. We pray we will never experience such an unfortunate incident in our community again. Sylvester’s demise has left all of us at Dowen College deeply saddened.

 “Our students, staff, and community have been affected by the news surrounding his passing and we find ourselves navigating unchartered waters.”

The statement said the school is “working with the Lagos State Ministry of Education and taken on board their guidance and suggestions with regard to various areas of improvement.”

It also promised to implement some “infrastructural changes’’ to the hostels and school facilities to enhance safety and oversight within the premises.


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