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DOWEN COLLEGE TRAGEDY: Police insist Sylvester Oromoni died of natural causes, advise displeased parties to await outcome of corona inquest

By IHECHUKWU SUNDAY, Lagos

The police in Lagos have brushed aside allegations of cover-up in the death of 12-year-old student of  Dowen College  Lekki, Lagos, Sylvester Oromoni, insisting that the young boy died of ‘natural causes’.

Master Oromoni allegedly died of injuries sustained as a result of beating and forceful admission of poisonous concoctions on him by fellow students allegedly during cult initiation ceremonies.

The school authorities, however, countered that the young boy died of injuries sustained while playing football.

As if he expected objections to the police verdict on the cause of Oromoni’s death, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, however, advised displeased parties or members of the public who were suspicious of the DPP’S advice, to go to Corona Court, which resumed today (Saturday, January 8) and wait for the outcome of the corona inquest.

Odumosu, an Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), said the police did their best to investigate the case to a logical conclusion .

Speaking at a press conference yesterday at his office in Ikeja, Odumosu said police investigations  revealed that the deceased student was not taken to the hospital for treatment by his parents since he was taken away from the sick Bay at the Dowen College in Lagos, about 10 days before his death

According to him, the two autopsy results- the one from the deceased student’s family, that of all the parties involved and that of the Lagos State government all showed that Oromoni died “a natural death”.

He also stated that the toxicology tests from Delta State and the one in Lagos State did not point out any sign of murder on the body of the late Oromoni.

Odumosu, however, said that 13 pathologists and consultants from all the parties involved were present during the conduct of the autopsy test in Lagos.

He said: “The case has attracted comments and reactions from different quarters, individuals and parents insinuating a cover-up .The comments, reactions and insinuations have necessitated the need for this press conference.

AIG Hakeem Odumosu, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State

“On  December 9, 2021, all the parties, including the deceased’s family, the school management and witnesses were interviewed by me at the command headquarters in Ikeja.

“During the open interview, it was unanimously agreed that another autopsy should be carried out where pathologists from all parties would be present. Investigations were extended to Delta State and Abuja. We interviewed some students in Abuja.

“I will like to state here that investigations revealed that same case was reported at Area Command Warri, Delta State, on December 1, 2021.

“It has also been established that a postmortem examination was initially carried out on December 2, 2021, by a Consultant Pathologist, Dr Clement Vhriterhire of the Central Hospital, Warri, Delta State.

“The result of the first autopsy, dated  December 10, 2021, attributed cause of death to “acute lung injury due to chemical intoxication in a background of blunt  force trauma. However  toxicology screening was recommended and also carried out.

“While waiting for the result of the  toxicology, another autopsy was ordered by the Corona  Magistrate in Lagos State because of the status of jurisdiction .

“The second autopsy test was carried out at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital ( LASUTH) on December 14, 2021, in the presence of representatives of all the parties involved in the case.

“The result of the second autopsy carried out in Lagos was released on December 21, 2021; the result attributed the cause of death to Septicaemia lobor pneumonia with acute pyelonephritis and pyomyositis of the right ankle.

“On December 30, 2021, the toxicology screening result of the first autopsy carried out in Warri, was released. The result issued and signed by Dr. Clement Vhriterhire, same doctor who carried out the initial autopsy, attributed the cause of death to ‘acute bacteria pneumonia due to severe sepsis’.

“At the end of diligent Investigations carried out so far, there is no evidence to establish a case of torture, bullying and forceful application of poisonous substance against the suspects.

“Final result of the post mortem and toxicology examination conducted both in Wari and Lagos agreed that the deceased died of natural death.”

Warning those threatening to go to any length to protest the outcome of the investigations to go the legal way or be ready to face the full wrath of the law, AIG Odumosu said: “Thus members of the public who may have any misgiving about the outcome of the police investigations, medical enquiry and legal advice with this case, are advised to follow the due process of law rather than resorting to self-help. The police will not fold their arms and allow any act of omission that could threaten the peace being enjoyed in the state.”

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