A SS3 student of Jubril Martins Memorial College, Iponri Lagos, Rafiu Adagun, has been beaten to death during the ongoing West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) by a gardener, Femi Aderounmu.
Eyewitnesses said the 15-year-old was killed after Aderounmu laid an ambush for him following a rift, which was settled by the school authorities earlier.
A source in the school said: “On the 15th of May after writing Literature exam, he (Rafiu) was on his way to prepare for his elder brother’s child’s naming.
“So, the gardener to the school called him and his fellow colleague back that the principal asked them (SSS 3 students) to stay behind then.
“The late Rafiu Adagun replied why should he wait since he was through with my exam? Then the gardener started beating him.
“So, they called the attention of the teachers and they settled the rift. Later, the students were playing that who was older between Rafiu and one other male student and Rafiu said the latter was older than him so the gardener started beating him that he was being rude to him.
” He (gardener) later went to lay ambush for Rafiu, beating him, ran after him, tore his clothes and hit his head against the wall so hard till Rafiu became unconscious.
“So, his friends and some teachers tried rushing him to the hospital but he had died before they got to the health centre.
“The school authority tried covering up by saying he slumped and died. They did not even inform the parents about the incidence not until one of the students called Rafiu’s cousin who now briefed the parents about what has happened.”
The deceased’s elder brother, Ademola Adagun, told newsmen there were attempts to cover up the incident by the culprit and school management.
“I was called upon by my late brother’s friend who narrated everything that ensued between him and the school’s gardener.
“According to report, Rafiu and the gardener have been having several rifts before the last one that took his life.
“But to my amazement, the gardener denied this, calling our late brother his friend. I don’t know how on earth our late brother would befriend a criminal like him.
“At first, the school lied to us that Rafiu fainted while coming out of the exam hall. How did we get to know they were lying?
“My cousin saw bruises on his body and neck, his school uniform, singlet, trouser were all torn. All these periods the gardener was pretentiously with us.
“So, my cousin saw one of the students at the scene and asked how it happened. The boy said the gardener went to Oke-Olu street (where the gardener lives) to wait for them and started punching him.
“He banged his head on the wall three times, he even tried to escape but the gardener ran after him and punched him harder before he fell.
“The boy further said they told the gardener to carry him but he said he will beat him if he stands up again and if any of them says anything, he will do the same to them.”
He added: “We were told by the students that they had to rush him to the school clinic where he was given pain relief injection and died.
“But when the school authority noticed he was dead, they took him to that Smith hospital, where he was confirmed dead on arrival.
“So, my cousin confronted the school authority by narrating what he learnt from those at the scene and told them to stop covering the criminal.
“They said the gardener punched him once and he fell and was rushed to Smith hospital. They didn’t mention the school clinic.
“After hearing the aforementioned from my cousin, we were told it didn’t happen in the school premises. I was vexed but that wasn’t what was doing me at the moment.
“We later heard from the principal that they’ve taken the culprit to the police station.
“But that wasn’t the case, they actually kept the guy in the police station because of the cordial relationship they have with the police men at the said station.
“On hearing that, the DPO was furious with the policemen in his station. He requested for the statements. That was when we knew they wrote statement for us.
“They were about releasing him the next day when we got there with our lawyer. That was when we realised that the DPO was not aware that a murderer has been in the station since a day before.
“The DPO tore the statements and requested for real statement about the incident.
Ademola, who described his late brother death as strange and pathetic, lamented the incident.
“It’s still like a dream. I wake up every day thinking I’ll see him by my side.”
The cousin to the deceased, Lanre Adagun, described the late Rafiu as gentle and urged that the culprit should face the full wrath of the law.
The mother of the deceased, Mrs. Adagun told newsmen: “My last words to Rafiu was ‘Best of Luck’, I never knew that would be the last time we would be seeing.
“He left home around 1pm to lead prayer at the mosque before dashing to school to write his paper, which was slated for 2pm.”
She added: “I remembered I told him to still wait till 1.30pm before going to school but he told me he needed to go in time because of the exam.
“Later that day, we got a call from his school that he slumped (someone who’s never sick).
“Immediately, my husband alongside his cousin dashed to see how he was faring at Smith Medical Centre close to the school.
“On getting there, they met his carcass lying on the flood. The school denied the allegation that he was killed by the gardener and gave several reasons to convince us that he was killed by the gardener.
“Meanwhile, the students (about five of them) had already told us that he was ambushed at Olaleye Oke-Olu Street, very close to Iponri bridge.
“According to them, the gardener mentioned while they were in the school premises that he would deal with Rafiu later that day. Not knowing that was his evil plan to end his (Rafiu) life without allowing him to say goodbye,” she said.
Deceased’s father, Mr. Adagun, said: “As at the last time I went to the station (Panti) where the killer of my late son was put under detention, he (the culprit) was tortured but still refused bluntly that he killed Rafiu.
“But the medical report we got from the hospital confirmed that Rafiu had already died before he was rushed to the clinic.
“But the school management is saying he slumped. So, who might have killed him if not the gardener he fought?”
One of Rafiu’s teachers, who pleaded not to be mentioned, described the late Rafiu as calm and easygoing person.
“Rafiu was very nice to all the members of the staff during his lifetime. He was an easygoing person and no one could have taught such a boy would die like that.”
Newsmen gathered that the deceased had his wolimat (an Islamic rites) few months back and was devoted Muslim in his lifetime.
The alleged killer, Femi Aderounmu, however, denied allegation against him by the deceased’s family.
Aderounmu called for proper investigation to be done over the matter.
All efforts to reach the school’ principal and the IPO handling the case proved abortive.