Oromoni’s death: Lagos Govt exonerates Dowen College students, staff

By James Jibril

Lagos State Government has absolved the five students and five employees of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, accused of being responsible for the death of Sylvester Oromoni, 12, a student of the school.

The clearance came following the Legal Advice of the DPP, Ms Adetutu Oshinusi.

According to the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, the autopsy report ruled out a case of murder and toxicology found no harmful substance in his body

The legal advice, which was addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID and the trial Magistrate, Olatunbosun Adeola, noted that the interim and final autopsy reports issued by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and toxicology report of post mortem samples and that of the Central Hospital, Warri were in agreement as to the cause of death was confirmed to be Septicaemia, Lobar Pneumonia with Acute Pyelonephritis, Pyomyositis of the right ankle and Acute Bacteria Pneumonia due to severe Sepsis.

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It further stated that the result of the toxicology is also not indicative of any toxic or poisonous substance in the body of the deceased as claimed by the family.

“Based on the 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, mentioned above,” the legal advice states.

Also, the State government cleared the students of belonging to unlawful society due to insufficient facts to establish the offence.

”From available facts in the duplicate case file, the investigation carried out by the Police did not reveal that any secret society name, tattoo or insignia of any unlawful society was found in the possession of any of the suspects during the investigation carried out by the Police.

“To hold otherwise would amount to sniffing for an offence and a speculative act which is not permitted in law.

“It is trite law that suspicion no matter how grave cannot be a ground for conviction” DPP stated.

The students exonerated by the government through the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, were: Favour Benjamin, 16, Edward Begue (16), Ansel Temile (14) Kenneth Inyang and Micheal Kashamu, 16, son of late Senator, Buruji Kashamu.

Staff cleared are: Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Bariyu, Adesanya Olusegun and Mr Adeyemi.

The five employees of the school were also cleared of charges of ‘Negligent Act’ contrary to section 252 of the Criminal Law Ch. C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State 2015.

The state directed that all the suspects should be released if they were still in custody.

The sad news of Sylvester’s death came to limelight after a cousin of the deceased, @perrisonoromoni on Twitter, posted pictures announcing that Sylvester had died after being “beaten to death at a school that cost over 1 million naira”.

He also posted a video of Sylvester in pain, crying and mentioning the names of some fellow students, presumed to be the alleged perpetrators of the torture. The video shows the deceased crying severely and bleeding from the mouth, while mentioning the other students’ names.

The Lagos State Government ordered indefinite closure of the school following the public outrage generated by the incident, after which the Lagos State Commissioner of Police announced that the students accused of allegedly assaulting Sylvester were in police custody.

Eventually, on December 9th, the five students were remanded in a juvenile home but were later granted bail in the sum of N1 million each on the 21st of December by a Chief Magistrates’ court in Yaba, Lagos.

Read below the DPP Advice, published by Channels TV:

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