Sylvester Oromoni:Lagos State sets free Dowen College bullies, staff

The Lagos State Government has exonerated five students and five officials of Dowen College linked to the death of a 12-year-old student of the college, Sylvester Oromoni.

Also cleared was Kingsley Otuaro, the manager of the school building in Lekki.

The students cleared by the state government are 16-year-old Favour Benjamin, Edward Begue (16), Ansel Temile (14) and Kenneth Inyang (15) and 15-year-old Micheal Kashamu, the son of the late senator, Buruji Kashamu.

Officials cleared by the government through the Director of Public Prosecution are Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Ayomo Bariyu, Adesanya Olusesan Olusegun and one Adeyemi.

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

The clearance was contained in a Legal Advice of the Director of Public Prosecution, Ms. Adetutu Oshinusi.

A copy of the legal advice addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, and the trial magistrate, Magistrate Olatunbosun Adeola, stated 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 namely: Septicaemia, Lobar Pneumonia with Acute Pyelonephritis, Pyomyositis of the right ankle and Acute Bacterial 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”, it added.

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”.

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 tragedy of Sylvester’s death came to light after the cousin of the deceased, @perrisonoromoni on Twitter, posted pictures announcing that he 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.

THEWILL reported how the Lagos State Government ordered indefinite closure of the school following the public outrage which the incident generated, 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 granted bail in the sum of N1 million each on the 21st of that month by a Chief Magistrates’ court in Yaba, Lagos.

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