The Lagos State Government has cleared five students and five 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.
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 namely: Septicaemia, Lobar Pneumonia with Acute Pyelonephritis, Pyomyositis of the right ankle and Acute Bacteria Pneumonia due to severe Sepsis.
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, therefore, 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, Favour Benjamin (16), Micheal Kashamu (15), Edward Begue (16), Ansel Temile (14) and Kenneth Inyang (15).
The state also cleared the minors of belonging to unlawful society due to insufficient facts to establish the offence.
It stated that “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”.
The state also cleared the school and five employees: Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Ayomo Bariyu, Adesanya Olusesan Olusegun and another Adeyemi of the offence of Negligent Act Causing Harm contrary to section 252 of the Criminal Law Ch. C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State 2015.
The state, therefore, directed that all the suspects should be released if they are still in custody.
Meanwhile, Oromoni’s mother, shortly after the students and officials of Dowen College were exonerated, made a video showing her lamenting that she couldn’t celebrate Christmas and New Year with her son.
She said, “The whole world will know that there is God that fights for the oppressed.
“Jehovah God, arise. King of glory, arise and cut short the lives of those that cut the life of my son short, including those supporting them.
“Let them feel the pains that I’m passing through. If they breathe the air that you created, God let your rod fall on them.”
The father, Sylvester Oromini Snr has also rejected the report of the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, civil rights groups and individuals who stand for justice to ensure that justice is done in the matter.
In a statement made available on Wednesday Oromoni, Snr also alleged gang up by some persons to frustrate the matter and stand justice on its head.
He stated that “My attention has been drawn to the legal advice dated the 4th day of January 2022 on the untimely and brutal death of my beloved son, Sylvester Oromoni, Jnr, who died on the 30th day of November 2021.
“I am appalled by the said legal advice dated the 4th day of January 2022 being circulated on social media as a copy was not obliged to us despite several requests for same.
“Be that as it may, I am not surprised with the content of the said legal advice because the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, who had earlier preempted the report on the 31st day of December 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.
“You could recall that on the 21st day of December 2021, a Magistrate’s 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’s Court to have a proper investigation.
“It is my belief and a shame on the Lagos State Government to have allowed this kind of gang 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.
“The management of Dowen College, Lekki Lagos has always claimed that my late son sustained the injury while playing football. All evidence gathered so far has shown that this is not the true story but a way to cover up their negligence. Based on the outcome of the autopsy report which contradicts the story of Dowen College, it is my firm belief that there is a conspiracy among the officials of Lagos State Government and the Nigeria Police Force, Lagos State Command to cover up the circumstances surrounding the gruesome death of my son, late Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.
“It is disheartening that in the DPP advice, the State of Lagos claims that the five suspects have no case to answer. The germane question to ask, in whose custody was my late son Sylvester Oromoni Jnr. at all material times when the substance was forcefully administered to him?
“Finally, I call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Inspector General of Police, the Chairman National Human Rights Commission, civil society groups, International Human Right Groups and the general public to help me get Justice as the turn of events has clearly shown that justice is being tampered with.
“I have instructed my team of lawyers led by Mr Femi Falana, SAN, to take all necessary steps within the purview of the law to get justice for my son Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.”