Shalom Omoniyi, one of the students who allegedly bullied Don-Davis Archibong at the Deeper Life High School, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has spoken up about the incident.
Recall, Don-Davis alleged on Facebook Live that senior students of the school, including Shalom and one Ola, assaulted him severally while he was in their hostel.
He also claimed that he couldn’t report to the school authorities because the senior students threatened to kill him if he reported them.
However, in an interview with Vanguard, Omoniyi, a 13-year-old Senior School 1 student from Ekiti State, said their boarding master, Nseabasi Joseph, only asked him and Ola to help Don-Davis learn how to keep himself clean.
Shalom said Joseph only gave him the task because Don-Davis was his bunkmate for two weeks.
“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.”
The accused minor also said Don-Davis was moved back to the Junior Students Hostel when Akpan returned before the end of the term on December 19, 2020.
He also said that Don-Davis might have been angry that they (he and Ola) didn’t do the things the boarding master, Akpan, was doing for him before he fell ill, noting, “Mr Akpan used to wash his clothes, bathe him. He also helped him to brush his teeth.
“Mr Akpan returned to School before 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 has been admitted into the school from JSS1, and that he never received any bad report from the school about any misconduct on the part of his son.
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 offence 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.”