Dowen College Reacts As Lagos Govt says Late Oromoni Died Of Septicaemia - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Dowen College Reacts As Lagos Govt says Late Oromoni Died Of Septicaemia





The Daily Crucible |  Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Lagos State Government has debunked the speculation that the late 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki, Sylvester Oromoni Junior, was beaten and forced to drink a poisonous substance by his seniors which allegedly led to his death in November, 2021.

It says there could be no prosecution for lack of substantial evidence, adding that supporting advice from the Department of Public Prosecution noted that “It is trite in law that suspicion no matter how grave cannot be a ground for conviction."

The government, therefore, advised the police to release those held in their custody over the matter. 

The suspects included five students- Kenneth Inyang (15 years), Ansel Temile (14 years), Edward Begue (16 years), Michael Kashamu (15 years) and Benjamin Ikechukwu (16 years).

Also accused of negligent act causing harm to the deceased but are now freed by the state are five staffers of the school; Celena Uduak, Valentine Igbokweze, Hammed Bariyu, Adesanya Olusesan and another who was simply identified as Mr Adeyemi, and the school itself.

But the school management has said it would await further directives from the government before announcing resumption and making further statements on the matter, saying it had also received the news of the DPP’s advice just like any Nigerian.

The government said scientific evidence suggested that the deceased died of ulcer in his ankle which it noted led to various medical conditions including “Septicaemia, Lobar Pneumonia with Acute Pyelonephritis, Pyomyositis of the right ankle and Acute Bacteria Pneumonia due to severe Sepsis.”

This was contained in the advice of the state’s director of public prosecution, Adetutu Oshinusi, and addressed to the office of the deputy commissioner of police in charge of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Yaba, Lagos.

According to legal advice, there is no substantial evidence to prosecute the suspects in the matter, and that the allegation of membership of a secret cult group could not be established against the suspects.

The director also wrote that the school and its arrested officers cannot be prosecuted for negligence, saying evidence obtained clearly absolves them of culpability.

What evidence says

According to the DPP’s advice, two autopsy examinations were carried out on the deceased, with the first one said to have been conducted on on December 2 at the Central Hospital, Warri, Delta State, by the deceased’s parents while the second was carried out on the December 14 at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja.


The DPP said the outcomes of both autopsies were in agreement.

It reads in part: “The outcome of both post-mortem examinations conducted 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.”

Writing on the fairness and authenticity of the reports, the DPP wrote that apart from the one conducted in Delta State by the family, the one conducted at LASUTH was in the presence of pathologists representing the families of the accused and the deceased.

“On the 13th of December, 2021, the body of the deceased was brought to Lagos for a second post-mortem examination with the consent of the deceased’s family. The second post-mortem was carried out by a Pathologist in the Department of Forensic Pathology, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) on the 14th of December 2021 in the presence of the seven (7) Pathologists (the Pathologist who performed the first autopsy from Central Hospital, Warri representing the family of the Deceased, four (4) other Pathologists representing the family of the suspects and two (2) other Pathologists from LASUTH) and three (3) Police Officers. The interim and full Autopsy Reports of the Pathologist dated 21 and 31 December 2021 revealed cause of death as Septicaemia, Lobar Pneumonia with Acute Pyelonephritis, Pyomyositis of the right ankle,” the report states in part.

On cultism allegation

The report indicated that there is no prima facie case established against the suspects, saying the office “is of the view that there are insufficient facts to establish the offence of membership of unlawful society against them.”

It also added that doing 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 concluded.

School speaks
Speaking  on Wednesday, an official of Dowen College, who declined to reveal their identity, said it would be too early to speak on the development and urged our reporter to call back or call an assistant director in the school, Jerry Adeyemi.

“We also just heard of the news of the DPP’s report like every other person. So we cannot make any categorical statement for now. We don’t know when we will resume until we receive further directives from the state government,” the official, who spoke on the phone, said.

Backgroud

The Lagos State government ordered the indefinite closure of Dowen College on December 3, 2021 after the parents and extended family members of 12-year old Oromoni Junior, insisted their son was murdered by seniors at the school.

Students who were at the time writing their first semester examinations were asked to vacate the school abruptly without completing their examinations. But reports said the school deployed technology to allow the student to complete their examination online.

The family’s lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana, had written to the Chief Coroner of Lagos State requesting an inquest into the student’s death.

An autopsy conducted by the investigators, however, later revealed that the deceased died of “acute lung injury due to chemical intoxication in a background of blunt force trauma.”

The Lagos State Police Command had earlier released the housemaster and other Dowen College staffers who were arrested in connection with the student’s death.
Credit: premiumtimes

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