The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed the death of 12-year-old Dowen College’s student, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr as natural.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, who was recently promoted to an Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) confirmed this while addressing journalists at the State Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Odumosu while giving update on the incident said the case has attracted comments and reactions from different quarters, individuals and parents insinuating a cover up.
He said the comments, reactions and insinuations have necessitated the need to do this press conference.
The police boss added that the five students and three house masters were also released following the result of the autopsy which showed that they were not culpable.
He said all the parties including the deceased’s family, the school management and witnesses were interviewed by him at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
“During the open interview, it was unanimously agreed that another autopsy should be carried out where pathologists from all parties would be present. Investigation was extended to Delta State and Abuja.
“Gentlemen of the press, I will like to state here that investigation revealed that same case was reported at the Area Command Warri, Delta State on Dec. 1, 2021.
“It has also been established that a post mortem examination was initially carried out on 2nd December, 2021 by a Consultant Pathologist, Dr. Clement Vhriterhire of the Central Hospital, Warri, Delta State.
“The result of the first autopsy dated 10 December, 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 Coroner Magistrate in Lagos because of the status of jurisdiction.
“The corpse was, therefore, moved with armed police escorts from Delta State to Lagos State by TOS Funeral and the autopsy conducted at the expense of the Lagos State Government.
“The second autopsy was carried out at the Lagos state University Teaching Hospital on Dec. 14, 2021 in the presence of representatives of all the parties involved in the case.” he said.
Odumosu said the result of the second autopsy carried out in Lagos was released on Dec. 21, 2021 and that the result attributed the cause of death to ‘Septicaemia, lobar pneumonia with acute pyelonephritis and pyomyositis of the right ankle’.
“On Dec. 30, 2021, the toxicology screening results 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 cause of death to ‘acute bacteria pneumonia due to severe sepsis’.
“At the end of diligent investigation carried out so far, there is no evidence to establish a case of torture, bullying and forceful application of poisonous substance against the suspects.
“All the suspects denied the allegations of torture, bullying and administering of poisonous substance to the deceased.
“Allegation that the deceased was being forced to join a cult group was also not established as other students interviewed denied this.
“Final results of the post mortem and toxicology examination conducted both at Warri and Lagos agreed that the deceased died a natural death.
“For purpose of clarification, it is pertinent to convey to members of the public in simple terms, the commentary/submission of Dr. SS Soyemi, the consultant pathologist who led a team of pathologists to carry out the autopsy. He declared and I quote:
“Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, a 12 year old student of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, reportedly died on Nov. 30, 2021 at a private hospital in Warri, Delta State.
“It was alleged that the deceased was physically assaulted and poisoned in the school prior to death.
“The first autopsy was done in Warri on Dec. 2, 2021. Following an order for a second autopsy, the body of the deceased was brought to Lagos for a second autopsy.
“Our findings at the second autopsy include marked pallor of organs, pneumonia (infection of the lungs), infections of the liver and kidneys as well as the heart.
“These infections emanated from the ankle infection described earlier in the report. Microscopic sections also confirmed these Findings.
“Death was caused by Septicaemia following infections of the lungs and kidneys arising from the ankle wound.
“No evidence of blunt force trauma in this body. The findings in the oesophagus and stomach are not compatible with chemical intoxication. Death in this case is natural.” he said.
AIG Odumosu said the case file was also duplicated and sent to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice, where it was
He said the legal advice however indicated that ‘there is no prima facie case of murder, involuntary manslaughter and or malicious administering of poison with intent to harm’ against the students and the House Masters, hence they cannot be prosecuted.
“Hence they were all released on bail. The final result of the autopsy and DPP advice were officially released by the State government earlier in the week.
“Gentlemen of the Press, in spite of the transparent investigation carried out by the police and the non-establishment of prima facie case against the suspects, some members of the Ijaw Youths Council, Lagos led by one Comrade Henry Oyobolo protested in front of Bowen College for over two hours yesterday Jan. 6.
“The protesters including masquerades carried placards and were drumming, thereby causing panic and apprehension.
“The protesters who conducted themselves in a manner capable of causing breach of peace also caused temporary traffic jam. But for the professional way the police managed the protest, it would have led to violence.” he said.
AIG Odumosu while commiserating with the bereaved family further advised that the protesters and other individuals or groups who are still aggrieved should go to law court to seek redress instead of taking the law into their own hands.
He warned that members of the public who may have any misgivings about the outcome of the police investigation, medical enquiry and legal advice with the case to follow due process in law rather than resorting to self help.
“The police will not fold their arms and allow any act or omission that could threaten the peace being enjoyed in the State.” He said.