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Dowen College speaks on alleged torture, death of 12-year-old student

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Dowen College

The management of Dowen College in Lagos State has countered claim of a 12-year-old student dying from injuries he sustained after allegedly being beaten by fellow students for refusing to join a cult.

The Eagle Online earlier reported that a Nigerian Twitter user who claimed to be the cousin of the deceased,  accused the school of lying about how the deceased sustained the injuries that led to his death.

He also claimed that his cousin mentioned five names before dying and the hospital he was taken to confirmed that he was bullied and sustained internal injuries after he was allegedly beaten up.

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Countering the allegation in a statement released on Wednesday December 1, the school’s management claimed that one of its hostel officials reported that the student was injured while playing football with his colleagues on November 21.

The management stated that the deceased expressed relief after being given first aid treatment by the resident nurse, but started complaining of pain in his hip shortly after returning to his hostel. He was also reportedly attended to again by the resident doctor at the school’s sickbay.

The school noted that the doctor later called the student’s mother to inform her of the situation and also asked her to pick him up for further medical treatment.

It was claimed that after an initial delay, the student’s mother eventually sent a guardian to pick him up and subsequently took him for an x-ray.

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Claiming that the guardian later called the school to say that results of the x-ray showed no part of the student’s body was injured or broken, the school’s management added that preliminary investigation showed that the students allegedly mentioned by the deceased were not connected to the incident.

The school also maintained that it is a faith-based college and vehemently condemns cultism and other social vices.

The statement read;

“It came as no small shock to us to read wild social media tales that he was beaten by some students and that he specifically mentioned some names.

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“We immediately commenced investigations and invited the students allegedly mentioned for interview. His guardian was also present during the interviews, which revealed that nothing of such happened.

“The whole incident was strange and unbelievable because: The school has effective anti-bullying policies and consequences are well spelled out to all the students.

“The preliminary investigation showed that there was no fighting, bullying, or any form of attack on the boy.

“He made no such reports, neither to his sister who is also a student nor any other students, prefects, house parents, medical staff, or any of the management staff.

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“The school has two regular nurses and a qualified medical doctor that promptly attend to students’ medical needs.

“The resident doctor followed the laid down procedure by inviting his mother to take him home for further treatment after initial treatment by the school’s medical staff.

“The school has a very cordial relationship with the family as he is the fifth child of the family Dowen College has the privilege to train, including his elder sister who is currently a student at the school.

“Furthermore, we state categorically Dowen College is built on core values of godliness and excellence and will not tolerate any acts of cultism, which is why there is nothing like that and there has never been such deviant activities going on, as this is a faith based school and effective policies are in place to prevent such occurrence.”

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BBC launches search to find exceptional talent in African journalism

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The BBC has begun the search for a future star of African journalism with the launch of the seventh BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.

The search for the next worthy winner of the Komla Dumor award launched with an online event on January 26, 2022.

It featured an exclusive interview with Komla Dumor’s family.

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The interview was conducted by the former winner, Victoria Rubadiri, who spoke with Komla’s widow, Kwansema Dumor, and two of their children in their home – the first time an award recipient has had an opportunity to learn more about Komla from his family in this way.

Kwansema shared that she was “proud” of her husband’s impact at the BBC, and also told Victoria that her family are “thankful to the BBC for remembering him” through the prize.

The BBC is encouraging journalists across Africa to apply for the prestigious prize, which seeks to promote and celebrate outstanding journalistic talent living and working on the continent.

The winner will spend three months working with BBC News teams in London across television, radio and online, and will be given the opportunity to sharpen their journalism skills through training, workshops, and mentorship with leading BBC journalists.

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As part of the placement, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to travel to a country in Africa to report on a story that they have researched, with the report broadcast to the BBC’s global audiences.

Applications close on February 16, 23:59 GMT.

Launched in 2015, the prize was set-up to honour the memory of the distinguished Ghanaian broadcaster Komla Dumor, who presented on BBC Africa and BBC World News.

Known for championing robust, dynamic journalism and for his commitment to reporting African stories comprehensively and authentically, he made a significant impact on Africa and the rest of the world.

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The BBC is committed to continuing Komla’s legacy through the Award by empowering journalists from Africa to tell original and nuanced African stories to reach international audiences.

Previous BBC World News Komla Dumor Award winners are:
Nancy Kacungira (2015)
Didi Akinyelure (2016)
Amina Yuguda (2017)
Waihiga Mwaura (2018)
Solomon Serwanjja (2019)
Victoria Rubadiri (2020).

During her placement, Victoria travelled to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo to report on an app developed to improve transport safety in Kinshasa, the country’s capital city.

Victoria was presented with the award by BBC Director General, Tim Davie.

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Victoria says: “Beyond the huge honour of elevating the memory of the late Komla Dumor, and the weight of the BBC recognising my work as a journalist, I have seen the growth in myself just in the last three months I spent in London.

“The training and exposure took my skills to the next level.

“This opportunity gave me a continental perspective of the news market and opened my mind to new ways of telling the African story.”

Liliane Landor, Senior Controller of BBC News International Services and Director of BBC World Service, says: “I’m delighted that the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award has returned for its seventh year.

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“The previous winners have truly exemplified Komla’s dedication to telling Africa stories with depth, erudition, and insight. We are excited to find and welcome this year’s winner and see the legacy of Komla’s journalism continue.”

For more information about the award, including how to apply, entry criteria, and terms and conditions visit: https://careerssearch.bbc.co.uk/jobs/job/BBC-World-News-Komla-Dumor-Award/58367

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Wike hails court ruling on FG’s deductions from states to fund police

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The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has described the judgement of the Federal High Court that stopped direct deductions from the Federation Account to fund the Nigeria Police Force as victory for democracy.

Wike spoke in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, on Wednesday shortly after the judgement.

He said the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Act, which the Federal Government relied on for the deductions, contravened the 1999 Constitution.

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He said: “For me, it is a victory for democracy.

“And I have always told people, it is not whether you must win or not, but it is a matter of when you see issues that you think are in contravention of our Constitution and other laws, there is nothing wrong for you to challenge it, so that the right thing can be done.

“After all, if the money is given back to us, we can still on our own say police, we want to support you with this.

“But not the Federal Government arbitrarily deducting our money from the Federation Account and putting it to Police Trust Fund.

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“I don’t think that, that is right and I thank God that today the court has made a clear pronouncement on it.”

Wike acknowledged that though the National Assembly was constitutionally empowered to enact laws, they went beyond their powers in enacting the Police Trust Fund Act by contravening the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria.

He added: “We are happy that the court has said that they should refund us all the money deducted and luckily the principal parties, Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission, the Accountant General, Attorney General Office they are all involved in the case.

“It is not about Rivers State, but it is about the impunity, it is about the violation of the constitution as if anybody can wake up one early morning and just decide to do one or two things, which is wrong.

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“And I am happy that the decision we took, we are not wrong and I thank my legal team.”

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