Oromoni: Lagos Absolves Dowen College Students, Staff - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Thursday, January 6, 2022

Oromoni: Lagos Absolves Dowen College Students, Staff

LAGOS State government has cleared the five Dowen College students and five employees of the school of any complicity in the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni.

The state government, in a legal advice issued and signed by the director of public prosecution (DPP), Ms Adetutu Osinusi and obtained by LEADERSHIP, she stated that police investigation and the two autopsies conducted on the body of the deceased failed to establish any prima facie case.

The legal advice, dated January 4, 2021, was addressed to the deputy commissioner of police in charge of State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) and Chief Magistrate Olatunbosun Adeola

According to the report, the interim and final autopsy reports issued by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital  and toxicology report of post-mortem samples revealed the cause of death as septicaemia, lobar pneumonia with acute pyelonephritis, pyomyositis of the right ankle and acute bacteria pneumonia due to severe Sepsis.

The state 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 suspects, Favour Benjamin (16), Michael Kashamu (15), Edward Begue (16), Ansel Temile (14) and Kenneth Inyang (15).

The report further stated, “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.

Allegations of murder, involuntary manslaughter and maliciously administering poison with Intent to harm. It is trite law that for the prosecution to successfully prove the offence of murder, the following must be established:

"That the accused caused the death of the deceased. That the act or omission of the accused caused the death and that the act or omission of the accused was intentional with the knowledge that the death or grievous bodily harm was its probable consequence. See Edoho vs The State (2010) 14 NWLR (Pt. 214) 651. SC and Paul vs State (2019) LPELR-47366 (SC).

“In the same vein, the prosecution must prove the following ingredients to establish the offence of involuntary manslaughter:

“That the death of the deceased was by the involuntary but negligent act of the accused and that there is absence of intent to cause such death or grievous bodily harm due to the circumstance of the act. See the case of Ajisogun vs. State (1998) 13 NWLR (Pt. 581) 238 @2583, Olabode vs. State (2008) WRN (Vol.2) 167 at 177, P. 194.”

The statement concluded that the facts as contained in the duplicate case file sent to it by the police failed to establish any of the ingredients for the offences.

It stated that, “From available facts in the duplicate casefile, 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 one 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.

…I’m Not Surprised, Says Father

Mr Sylvester Oromoni, the father of the late 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr), has said the news of Lagos State government ordering the release of the suspects linked to his son’s death did not come to him as a surprise.

He said from the day the students were granted bail even before the stipulated time allowed by the courts for the police to carry out their investigation, he knew something was wrong.

The younger Oromoni was allegedly beaten to death by five senior students of the school on November 30, 2020, for refusing to join their cult.

Two months after, the Lagos State government cleared five students and five employees of Dowen College accused of complicity in the death of Sylvester.

He told Channels Television yesterday from Delta State that contrary to the results conducted by the Lagos State government, there was another autopsy carried out by the Delta State Police Command which suggested that his late son may have been fed with harmful chemicals.

He, however, insisted he will not give up and that his family will meet with his lawyers on the way forward.

“This one is not new to us. I remember on 31st December when the commissioner of police was making his speech, he mentioned that at the instance of the governor, the attorney-general and the DPP, they have completed their investigation.

“They discovered that the children, housemasters had no case so he released them on bail, discharged them. He is not the court to decide this matter. What I will tell you is that the family will sit with our lawyers, we will respond appropriately and at that time, all of you will be there.

“But in the meantime, let me assure you that on December 21, the same commissioner of police told me that they were not done with their investigation. They also told me that they are writing to the attorney-general of the state and the governor to return those boys back.

“Okay look at the holidays. When did they write to the attorney-general to send those boys back to complete their investigation? We did not hear anything like that. At what point did they complete their investigation? There was a holiday on Monday, Tuesday and all of that. Don’t worry; we are not bothered; we have heard of this before.

This is just the beginning of the case.”

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