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Sylvester’s death: Lagos DPP absolves Dowen College, students, staff

Sylvester’s death: Lagos DPP absolves Dowen College, students, staff

Five students and officials of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, accused of complicity in the death of a 12-year-old student of the college, Sylvester Oromoni, have been absolved by the Lagos State government.

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

The officials cleared by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) are Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Ayomo Bariyu, Adesanya Olusesan Olusegun, and one Adeyemi. Also, cleared was Kingsley Otuaro, the manager of the school building in Lekki. Apart from clearing the suspects, the state also directed that they should be released if they are still in custody.

There had been reports that Oromoni died from injuries sustained in an attack by five senior students of the school for allegedly refusing to join their cult. The 12-year-old boy died on November 30, 2020, after efforts to save his life failed.

His father had claimed that Sylvester was beaten and fed a liquid chemical but Dowen College dismissed the claim. The school posited that the boy sustained injuries while playing football with his colleagues.

The position of the Lagos State government was contained in a legal advice by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Lagos State, Adetutu Oshinusi, addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), and the trial magistrate, Olatunbosun Adeola.

Read also: Dowen College, whose duty was it to save Sylvester?

The advice stated that the interim and final autopsy reports issued by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) 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 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,” 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”.

“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.”