By Lukman Olabiyi

The Coroner Inquest instituted by the Lagos State Government to examine the cause of death of a 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki, Sylvester Junior Oromoni, has attributed the deceased’s death to his parents’ and doctor’s negligence.

The Coroner Magistrate, Mikhail Kadiri, held that Oromoni died as a result of failed treatment for his enlarged liver.

Oromoni died on November 30, 2021. Initially, the deceased death was attributed to bullying and an alleged poisonous substance he was forced to drink in the school. He was said to have claimed that he was beaten up by five senior students of Dowen College, whose names were Favour Benjamin, 16, Edward Begue (16), Ansel Temile (14) Kenneth Inyang and Micheal Kashamu, 16, son of late Senator, Buruji Kashamu, before he died.

But, on January 5, 2022, the Lagos State Government exonerated the five students and five employees of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, who were accused of complicity in Oromoni’s death.

Kadiri said: “Based on the foregoing, it is clear that the deceased’s health deteriorated in (doctor) Prosecution Witness (PW) 3’s care. PW 3 did not take proper care of the deceased. PW 3 completely abandoned the deceased for a period of more than 32 hours.

“The deceased’s death was an avoidable one; but for the negligence of the parents and PW 3, they didn’t take him to the hospital until the day he died on November 30, 2021. The deceased went through an avoidable and excruciating pain and made to suffer needlessly.” However, the counsel to the deceased’s parents, Femi Falana SAN, in swift reaction to the coroner’s verdict, faulted Magistrate Kadiri’s ruling. Falana, in a statement, held that Magistrate Kadiri goofed in his finding, regarding the cause of death of the deceased.

Related News

The statement read: “It is curious that the coroner ignored the evidence of the government’s pathologist that the “black substance” found in the stomach of the deceased was not subjected to toxicological examination.

The allegation was that the deceased was forced to drink a poisonous substance.

“The Acting Director, Public Prosecution of Lagos State, at the material time, had recommended that some staff and students be prosecuted for criminal negligence over the bullying of students in the school. Four days later, the Acting DPP turned round to say that there was no case to answer without any fresh evidence from the police investigators. The coroner ruled that the Acting DPP has the power to withdraw her recommendations at any time!

“The doctors who testified stated that the deceased died of sepsis and that the sepsis could have been caused by excessive massaging of the leg of the deceased. The coroner conveniently overlooked the fact that the school doctor and the nurses massaged the leg of the deceased for two days before inviting his parents to take him home.

“In an attempt to exonerate Dowen College, the coroner was silent on the overwhelming evidence of the bullying of the deceased, his sister, and other students by the same set of students. In particular, the coroner discountenanced the evidence of a student who had testified that he saw the deceased beaten up and subjected to torture by a group of senior students.

“In spite of such uncontradicted evidence, the coroner said that the deceased died of natural causes. The coroner claimed that the negligence of the family doctor led to the death of the deceased, but failed to refer him to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for appropriate sanctions”.