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Sylvester Oromoni: House Teacher Testifies, Says No Cult In Dowen College

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The coroners’ inquest into the controversial death of late Dowen College student, Sylvester Oromoni resumed on Monday, February 28, with one of the school’s teachers, Hammed Ayomo, testifying.

Ayomo who is also one of the housemasters told Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri that there is no secret cult in the school.

Recall that after Sylvester’s death, his father, Sylvester Oromoni Snr, had alleged that his child was threatened to join a cult group and forced to drink a substance that led to his death

Ayomo who was the ninth witness in the proceedings said he has been employed by the school for 13 years and also served as guardian to the late Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.

While answering questions from counsel to the Oromoni family, Andrew Efole, Ayomo was confronted with a statement he made to the police to the effect that the deceased had complained that some students were begging him for his provisions. The late Sylvester had then opted to keep the provisions with the housemaster.

The witness also testified that the deceased requested to change his room at some point as a result of his personal effects going missing. He, however, said that the issue of stolen items are not peculiar to the deceased but noted that he helped him to search for it.

When asked about allegations of bullying, the teacher said he wasn’t aware that the deceased was beaten.

The parents said he was dragged down, beaten with a belt, is this possible? One of the lawyers asked.

“It is impossible” he said

“As a houseparent, can you tell the court when the principal became aware that the boy was sick?” the lawyer had asked

Responding, the teacher said

“On November 27, 2021, I called the mom to ask after Sylvester, she said they were in church and that the healing hands of God were upon him,” he said.

On November 28, I called the principal and told him one of our boys was at home and is staying too long and she asked for his mom’s number then called but no response.

I called the mom and she picked and I connected the two of them then we heard him screaming in the background. She asked why he was screaming, the mom said they were massaging his body and the principal prayed for him.”

The coroner, Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri also had some questions for the witness. He asked if there was a standard practice the school follows on the discipline of students. Mr Ayomo replied in the affirmative.

“Are you aware of the issue of the sister’s private parts? the coroner asked

“Yes,” the teacher replied.

“To you, was that a minor or major case,” asked the coroner

“Major,” the teacher replied.

“Are you surprised the school didn’t take any measure against the boys mentioned?

The Assistant Director of the hostel, Mr Valentine punished the student but I am not aware if the management as a whole took any disciplinary action against him” the teacher said

The Coroner then asked “As a father how would you feel about this? Would you still have confidence in the school?

“I won’t be happy, but I will still have confidence in the school”, the teacher replied.

While being cross-examined by the school’s counsel, Izuchukwu Ohajinwa, Ayomo told the inquest that there was no cult in the school, adding that it was not possible for the deceased to be beaten by the suspected students.

“No cult in Dowen. The rooms are closely linked together and it’s impossible for the deceased to be dragged down and beaten with a belt by other students.”

Counsel to the Nig Bar Association, Bernard Onigah then sought to know what advice the teacher had on the whole incident.

Ayomo disclosed that the school has begun the installation of CCTV cameras. He also disclosed that teachers/housemasters would now be assigned to live on each floor of the school hostel so as to properly monitor the activities of the students.

Further proceedings to continue today March 1 with the school principal expected to testify.

 

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Why NLC, TUC Must Protect Nigeria’s Democracy – Obasa

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The survival of Nigeria’s democracy should be a key focus of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliates, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has said.

Dr. Obasa gave the charge Thursday at the 2022 Independence Day Anniversary Lecture with the theme ‘Nigeria in search for an enduring political structure: imperative of structural reform’ held at the NLC Ogun State headquarters.

According to him, Nigeria can only advance positively if the various unions and individuals play roles to keep the country’s democracy thriving.

The Speaker, who was chairman of the event, said that the country is seen as practising democracy because there are legislative arms of government in place both at the national and sub-national levels.

He, however, lamented the attempts by some individuals in position of authority to ‘pocket’ these lawmaking arms of States citing how, in some instances, principal officers of Houses of Assembly are removed at the whims and caprices of single individuals in authority.

“It is hightime we all rose to protect Nigeria’s political institution, the parliament. We have seen cases where the civil society looked away while democracy faces danger from some individuals.

“We have seen cases where the parliament was closed and where a governor carried inauguration of legislature by midnight.

“When you have a legislature that is answerable to a single person, you can’t progress or meet collective goals or say we are practising democracy. We have heard of a state that already has four Speakers in less than four years.

“It is also surprising that even among the elite, you find that there are some people who do not know their representatives at the parliament. Yet, these parliamentarians make the laws that guide their activities and actions.

“As a union, our concern should not be about where we work, our salaries and welfare alone; we should also protect our institutions. I am not saying you should be partisan, but at least, play a role in guiding our democracy.

“In that way, it would be difficult for individuals to determine how the parliament, which is the true symbol of democracy, should operate,” Obasa said.

In his short remark, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, noted that Nigeria simply practises civil rule and not democracy.

“If you have a vibrant legislature, you have democracy,” he said.

In his address, Comrade Abinbola Bankole, chairman of the NLC in Ogun State, said though Nigeria faces many challenges, “as a labour movement, it is our considered opinion that blame-game shall take us nowhere as a people.”

He said if Nigeria must work, citizens must be interested in how their country is governed.

Guest lecturer at the event, Chief Mike Ozekhomhe (SAN), noted that the problems with Nigeria are fundamental and systemic. He suggested a new constitution for the country.

“No president who rules Nigeria will do well. Until we do serious structural adjustment or realignments, none of those who would rule Nigeria can make any spectacular difference,” Ozekhomhe said while expressing optimism that Nigeria will be successful again.

On his part, Nafiu Aiyedun, Ogun State Head of Service, who represented Governor Dapo Abiodun, promised that the government would continue to focus on the welfare of workers.

 

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Soludo reacts to killing of soldiers in Anambra, assures arrest of perpetrators

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Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo has decried Wednesday’s deadly attack on personnel of the Nigerian Army.

JOMOGNEWS NIGERIA had reported how the so-called ‘Unknown Gunmen’ terrorising Anambra State and major parts of Nigeria’s southeast region attacked and killed five soldiers in Orumba South Local Government Area (LGA).

Among the causalities is a civilian.

According to the governor, from this point on, “these people must surely pay for this heinous and repulsive attack”.

“We condemn this wicked and cruel attack in the strongest terms. The perpetrators of this act must pay,” Prof. Soludo said, as quoted in a statement signed by Christian Aburime, his spokesman.

“We are not going to rest on our oars, including those people that attacked Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and the rest. There will be absolutely no hiding place for them,” Soludo added.

“Going forward, our actions will show, as these people must surely pay for this heinous and repulsive attack.”

 

 

 

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Over 20 Persons Burnt To Death As Explosion Rocks Kogi

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No fewer than 20 persons were burnt to death on a bridge at Maboro River, in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State, on Wednesday in an explosion of a petrol-laden tanker.

The incident occurred when the tanker lost control and fell on the bridge at about 3.30pm on Wednesday.

Kogi State FRSC Sector Commander, Stephen Dawulung, who confirmed the incident, said the casualty could not be ascertained as at press time.

“‘My boys are there, putting the pieces together. We don’t know the number of dead yet. A tanker, two buses and two motorcycles were involved”, he said.

A resident of the area, Usman Ahmed, who witnessed the unfortunate incident, told Daily Trust that several persons were in the river when the tanker exploded.

He said, “Nobody knows the number of dead people now. Many People were in the river doing one thing or the other when the tanker lost control, fell and exploded on the bridge”.

 

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