The five pupils and staff members of Dowen College in Lagos who were arrested in connection with the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni have been exonerated by the Lagos State Government.
Following legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecution, Ms. Adetutu Oshinusi, addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, and the trial magistrate, Magistrate Olatunbosun Adeola, they were all exonerated, including the school.
The cause of his death, according to the legal counsel, was “Septicaemia, Lobar Pneumonia with Acute Pyelonephritis, Pyomyositis of the right ankle and Acute Bacteria Pneumonia due to severe Sepsis.”
They also stated that, contrary to his family’s claims, the toxicology analysis of Sylvester’s post mortem samples revealed no harmful or poisonous chemical in his body.
According to the DPP’s legal advice, there is no case of murder, involuntary manslaughter, or malicious administering of poison with intent to harm against the five students, Favour Benjamin (16), Micheal Kashamu (15), Edward Begue (16), Ansel Temile (14) and Kenneth Inyang (14) based on these findings (15).
The students were also exonerated of charges of cult membership due to a lack of evidence to support the charge.
In part, the legal advice read.
“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.”
All charges against the school and its five employees, Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Ayomo Bariyu, Adesanya Olusesan Olusegun, and one Adeyemi, have been dropped, and all suspects have been released from custody.
In the meantime, the school remains closed.