When 16-year-old boy, Oluwadamilare Olugbamu, left home for school on the morning of July 1, 2015, he probably didn’t know the magnitude of danger that was ahead of him.
Shortly after the young lad had left the compound of his Nawarudeen Secondary School, Jibowu, Lagos, at the close of school hours, he was attacked with a knife by another 16-year-old boy suspected to be a cult member.
The assailant, Idris Ajagbe, a pupil of Birel Secondary School, Lagos, stabbed him in the left thigh, with a knife, which the family said might have been poisoned.
Eleven days after the attack, his left leg was amputated at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos because blood no longer flowed through it.
Again on August 15, the same leg had to be re-amputated again because it continued to bleed without healing.
This bizarre case has left a lot of questions than answers on the issue of cult groups in secondary schools in Nigeria.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that there has been an enmity between pupils of Birel Secondary School, Yaba, and Lagos City College, Yaba on one side and Nawarudeen Secondary School and Mainland Secondary School, Yaba on the other side.
But matters came to the head on July 1, when the school rift snowballed into an all-out attack against pupils of Nawarudeen Secondary School.
According to Oluwadamilare’s sister, Opeyemi, the students of these schools were always bullying one another on their way home from school.
“The day my brother was attacked, there was a football match between students of Nawarudeen and Mainland. It was during the match that the fight started. It was not serious until the students left school and started going home,” Opeyemi told our correspondent.
Oluwadamilare, who is still in excruciating pain on hospital bed as a result to the two amputations he has suffered, explained that he was going home when pupils of Lagos City College Started to throw stones at students of Nawarudeen.
According to him, pupils of his own school decided to retaliate by throwing stones back at the aggressors too.
Soon, the fight escalated as a student of Lagos City College allegedly brought out a cutlass and inflicted a cut on one of the pupils of Nawarudeen.
“The boy that was cut struggled to take the cutlass away from the Lagos City College boy. When he collected the cutlass, he retaliated by cutting the boy in the head. When we all saw blood gushing out of the boy’s head, we ran away,” Oluwadamilare said.
But the matter did not end there. In fact, Oluwadamilare’s worst nightmare was about to become reality.
On his way home, he saw a cousin in the company of some pupils of Lagos City College and Birel Secondary School and called out to him. Oluwadamilare said his hope was that he would leave the company of the boys and accompany him home.
But as soon as the other boys with his cousin sighted him, they ran after him, stoning him as they did so.
Oluwadamilare said he fell down after one of the boys identified as Tosin Ogidiolu of Birel Secondary School kicked him.
The boys allegedly pounced on him, beating and kicking him as he lay on the ground begging them to stop.
As the mob continued their action on Oluwadamilare, one of them (Idris Ajagbe, whom other pupils attested to being a cult member) drew out a knife and stabbed him in the thigh.
As they beat him, his cousin begged them to stop, but some of them, who were armed with metal pipes, continued to beat him until he fell unconscious.
The boys ran away only when he became unconscious, it was learnt.
Oluwadamilare’s sister explained that a teacher, who was passing by and saw the boy bleeding and unconscious, decided to rush him to the hospital, where his injuries were dressed and the knife wound was stitched.
“By the time I was informed and rushed to the hospital, my brother’s leg had swollen so big. We had to report the case to the Sabo Police Division after that,” Opeyemi said.
However, doctors at the hospital where his wound was dressed realised all was not well with the boy when he continued to scream in pain and the leg continued to swell.
He was referred to the surgical emergency ward of LASUTH the following day, where it was decided that nothing could be done to save the leg. A number of tests were conducted while some consultants were summoned to examine the leg. But Oluwadamilare’s fate was sealed.
After the first amputation, Oluwadamilare was said to have bled so much that he required 21 pints of blood before the leg had to be re-amputated.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that Ajagbe has since been on the run. Before he fled, he dropped a note at home for his mother, explaining that he decided to run away from home because he stabbed someone to death.
But the police were able to round up the other pupils involved in the attack along with Oluwadamilare’s cousin.
Seven of the boys were charged before a Yaba Magistrate’s Court, Lagos for offences ranging from hooliganism, conspiracy to felony. The case was adjourned till November 23.