Shalom Omoniyi, one of the students accused of bullying and molesting Don-Davis Archibong at the Deeper Life High School, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has narrated his side of the story.
Don-Davis had claimed that senior students of the school (Shalom and one Ola) assaulted him while he was in their hostel.
”When I got to Deeper Life school, because I bedwet, Mr Akpan uses belt on me. He uses any thing he sees, even if it is iron, belt, or he can even use stone. Because I bedwet, they transferred me from JS1 dormotery to SS1 dormitory.
“There were two boys named Ola and Shalom, they used to put their hands inside my anus, bring out feaces and then use that same hand to beat me. For two weeks I did not have my bath.”
When asked why he didn’t report the assault to the school authorities, Don-Davis said: ”They said they would kill me if I report”
However, Shalom, a 13-year-old SS1 student from Ekiti State, denied all the allegations from Don-Davis.
According to Shalom, their boarding master, Nseabasi Joseph, only asked him and Ola to help Don-Davis learn how to be neat.
“Don-Davis was my bunkmate. I resumed at the school on November 1, 2020, to meet him as my bunkmate. But I was told that he was removed from the Junior Students Hostel and put in the Senior Students Hostel because the boarding master of junior school, Mr. Akpan, was sick.
“We (Ola and I) did not bully him. I did not molest him. The boarding master, Joseph Nseabasi, asked us to make sure he was always clean because when he pooped or peed on himself, he didn’t clean up. And when he smelled, and we asked him if he defecated, he would say no.
“But when we asked him to pull down his boxers and bend down, we would discover that he defecated without cleaning his anus. We would now ask him to go and take his bath or clean himself. And when we noticed that his clothes were smelling, we would tell him to go and wash the clothes, but he would refuse. Instead, he would go and put the smelly clothes in his cupboard.”
Shalom added that Don-Davis was moved back to the Junior Students Hostel when the housemaster returned before the end of the term on December 19, 2020.
He also revealed that the housemaster helped Don Davis to brush his teeth, bathe him and wash his clothes
“Mr Akpan used to wash his clothes, bathe him. He also helped him to brush his teeth.”
“Mr Akpan returned to School before the school closed on December 19, 2020. When he returned, Don-Davis was also moved back to his former hostel. He was moved to the Senior Students Hostel because when Mr. Akpan was sick, the Junior Students Hostel did not have a boarding master. He was moved out of our hostel on November 15.”
Omoniyi also said a female nurse used to come at 6:30 am to give Don-Davis drugs every day on an empty stomach.
Asked if the School punished him and Ola for allegedly bullying and molesting Don-Davis, Omoniyi said he was never punished.
“Don-Davis reported us to the school principal, (Mrs Ndidi Solomon, already suspended) that Ola and I bullied him. The principal invited us to her office and told us that she was going to punish us. Even when we tried to explain things to her, she refused to listen. But she did not punish us.”
Father to the accused student, Olusegun Omoniyi, said his son is innocent and that he doesn’t believe the story.
He said he was therefore surprised when Don-Davis mentioned his son’s name in the matter.
He explained that even when the school principal, Ndidi Solomon, contacted him, saying she was going to punish his son, he was not given details of the offense he was said to have committed.
He said, “So, when I saw the story and the alleged involvement of my son, I decided to call my son and ask him why he bullied and molested the boy, but he said he did not do such a thing.
“I cannot force my son to tell a lie. And I also allowed him to make a statement to the police last Thursday.
“I am not worried about anything because I believe that my son is telling the truth and I know the truth will prevail, no matter how long it takes. In fact, the whole story is too shallow for me to believe.”
Meanwhile, a medical report on Don-Davis did not state if he was sexually molested or not.
The boy was examined and treated at St. Athanasius Hospital, a private medical facility in Uyo.
When asked why the report did not state clearly if the boy was sexually abused or not, Emmanuel Akpanobong, the medical director, St. Athanasius Hospital said: “In physical examination, you need to watch which area was molested and this one they are thinking of the anus, which that report has shown that there was no injury seen.”
Mr Akpanobong, noted that the tests were only done to ascertain if the boy had any infection.
Outside of that, he said the doctors were not “magician” to verify what happened to the boy while he was at the dormitory.
“We rely on the physical findings which is what we reported there,” he added.