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Oromoni: Lagos clears five Dowen students, staff members, orders release of suspects

By Iyabo Lawal and Bertram Nwannekanma
06 January 2022   |   4:06 am
Lagos State Government has cleared five students and employees of Dowen College, accused of complicity in the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni.

Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr)

Father rejects legal advice, alleges gang up
Lagos State Government has cleared five students and employees of Dowen College, accused of complicity in the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni.

The state cleared them as well as the school following the legal advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ms. Adetutu Oshinusi.

In the legal advice addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) and the trial magistrate, Olatunbosun Adeola, the DPP said the interim and final autopsy reports issued by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), exonerated the suspects from any wrongdoings.

The DPP added that toxicology report of post mortem samples and that of the Central Hospital, Warri, were in agreement as to the cause of young Oromoni’s death, namely: Septicaemia, Lobar Pneumonia with Acute Pyelonephritis, Pyomyositis of the right ankle and Acute Bacteria Pneumonia due to severe Sepsis.

The legal advice further noted that the result of the toxicology is also not indicative of any toxic or poisonous substance in the body of the deceased.

The DPP’s legal advice concluded that based on these findings, there is no prima facie case of murder, involuntary manslaughter and or malicious administering of poison with intent to harm, against the five students accused of complicity in Oromoni’s death.

The suspects, Favour Benjamin (16), Micheal Kashamu (15), Edward Begue (16), Ansel Temile (14) and Kenneth Inyang (15) were subsequently absolved and cleared of belonging to unlawful society due to insufficient facts to establish the offence.

The state also cleared the school and five employees held in connection with Oromoni’s death, namely Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Ayomo Bariyu, Adesanya Olusesan Olusegun and one Adeyemi, of the offence of negligent act causing harm, contrary to section 252 of the Criminal Law C17, Vol.3 Laws of Lagos State 2015.

The state, therefore, directed that all the suspects be released, if they are still in custody.

But in a statement yesterday, the deceased father said he was not surprised with the content of the said legal advice because the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, had earlier preempted the report on December 31, 2021 when he said that at the instance of the Governor, Attorney-General and Director of Public Prosecution of Lagos State, the investigation had been concluded and that those arrested in connection with the murder had no case to answer and thereby exonerated.

The family recalled that on December 21 2021, a Magistrate Court in Yaba, Lagos presided over by Mrs. Olatunbosun Adeola, granted the five suspects bail even though the DPP Advice was yet to be issued.

“Our findings from both the Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police, SCID, Panti denied being aware of the release of the five suspects.

“The Commissioner of Police further maintained that they were yet to conclude their investigation, hence the issue of bail would not have arisen.

“It may interest you to know that the suspects were ordered to be remanded by the police for 21 days by the same Magistrate Court to have a proper investigation.

“ It is my belief and a shame on this kind of gang Lagos State Government to have allowed up against an innocent boy who died as a result of negligence from the management of Dowen College Lekki, Lagos.

“There is a clear oral statement from my son before he died and his schoolmates that he was tortured and given an unknown substance suspected to be poison, which led to his death,” Oromoni added.