Why Lagos Govt Exonerated Dowen College Students, Staff From Sylvester Oromoni’s Death

By Frank Oshanugor

Late Sylvester Oromoni

Autopsy report ruling out murderous act and non discovery of harmful substance in Dowen College 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni in toxicology analysis were the reasons while suspected students and staff of the College earlier arrested by the police were set free from prosecution by the Lagos State Government.

The Government has therefore cleared the five students and five employees of College accused of complicity in the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni last about six weeks ago.

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

According to the advice addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, (SCID) and the trial magistrate, Magistrate Olatunbosun Adeola, the interim and final autopsy reports issued by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and toxicology report of postmortem 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 legal advice added 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.

The DPP’s legal advice, therefore, concluded that 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 deceased by the five students, Favour Benjamin aged 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.

”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 DPP legal advice read in part.

It would be recalled that the late Oromoni was alleged to have died as a result of torture and administration of poisonous chemical substance on him by some students of the College reportedly belonging to a cult group.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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