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No Justice For Sylvester Oromoni After One Year As Family Tackles Lagos Government, Dowen College

November 30, 2022

On November, 30, 2021, Oromoni was allegedly tortured to death by some senior students who reportedly wanted to initiate him into a cult group.

Exactly a year ago that the death of a 12-year-old pupil of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, was announced in controversial circumstances, the family is yet to get justice in the matter. 
On November, 30, 2021, Oromoni was allegedly tortured to death by some senior students who reportedly wanted to initiate him into a cult group.
The death of Oromoni, which generated condemnation and series of protests by civil society groups and women across the country as well as heated controversies, was yet to yield any positive results one year after following the dilly-dally and alleged delay tactics by some officials of the Lagos State Government.
The Lagos State Government had following the death of Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr), ordered a coroner inquest to unravel the cause of death which commenced on the 21st day of January, 2022 at the Magistrate Court, Epe (now Magistrate Court 20, Ogba) and yet to be concluded even as the deceased family had raised the alarm over an alleged plot to unnecessarily delay proceedings at the coroner’s inquest into the death of their son. 
They also alleged a cover-up between the Nigeria Police Force and Lagos state Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) over the circumstances surrounding the death.
A pathologist, Sokunle Soyemi, led in evidence by Jide Martins, the Director of the Lagos state Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), had while testifying for Lagos state government at an inquest set up to unravel the cause of the student’s death, said that the first autopsy conducted in Warri, Delta state on the late Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, a 12-year-old student of Dowen College, was not properly done.
The deceased family had also alleged that their son died from injuries he sustained in an attack by five senior students of Dowen College, for refusing to join a cult, claiming that the late pupil was forced to drink an obnoxious substance by his attackers, allegations the school authority had equally denied saying the late student only sustained a leg injury while playing football.
However, in a statement to observe a one year memorial to mark the one year untimely demise of their son, late Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr), by the family, issued in Warri, Delta State on Wednesday, the family demanded for justice. 
Signed by the deceased father, Sylvester Oromoni (Snr) and obtained by SaharaReporters, the family threatened that if the Inquest was not concluded before the end of 2022, they shall be compelled to withdraw from it in order to take a different legal step to seek justice. 
The family said, “The Legal Advice earlier issued by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice, Lagos state indicted Dowen College and some of its staff and recommended them for prosecution under Section 252 of the Criminal Law (C17) Vol. 3 Laws of Lagos State 2015. Notwithstanding this Advice, these individuals indicted are still working freely while the body of the deceased continues to lie in the morgue.
"With the effort of the honourable coroner and the cooperation of several parents particularly the parents of the two witnesses who came from Abuja to testify on the 14th November, 2022, the coroner thereafter adjourned proceedings to 21st November 2022 for Dowen College to produce the two remaining witnesses from the school. However, due to the college’s antics and strategy, the school refused to provide these two witnesses who are currently in Dowen College on the said 21st November, 2022 to enable them to testify before the coroner. 
"As a result of that, the inquest was further adjourned to 28th November, 2022. Unfortunately, the coroner could not also sit on this date because of the unavailability of these vital witnesses from Dowen College. At this juncture, let it be known that the coroner inquest of the Ikoyi building collapse of 2021 where 52 persons died did not take this protracted time as well the Ojota Yoruba rally where one Miss Jumoke Oyeleke died had since been concluded their Inquest. As the father of the deceased, I cannot be tired or discouraged from pursuing justice as I have promised my son to get him justice even if it will take thirty (30) years to achieve it. 
"Today, the 30th of November 2022 makes it a year since the demise of my son and the body is still in the morgue, yet to be buried. This one-year memorial being held today is to tell Nigerians and the entire world about the current position of the inquest and the antics of Dowen College. I am equally aware that some civil society organizations and NGOs in Abuja and Lagos are equally observing the one-year memorial today to mark his one-year untimely demise. May the soul of Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr.) and all departed souls rest in perfect peace. Amen.
"At this point, I wish to call on the honourable coroner to please do the needful by urgently bringing the inquest to an end as Nigerians and the entire world are waiting for the dispensation of justice in this case as justice delay is justice denied. This struggle is not only about my late son, but my own way of preventing the future occurrence of this tragic incident. In the same vein, we equally urge the Lagos State Government, as a matter of urgency to charge Dowen College and all the staff who had earlier been recommended for prosecution in the DPP advice of 30th day of December, 2021 to court. 
"Already, Dowen College has since the commencement of this coroner put a lot of things in order in the school premises which were not available at the material time. You may wish to know that the installation of CCTV cameras and a football pitch have been provided as against the former concrete basketball court which was being used. NOTE: I must state categorically that if this Inquest is not concluded before the end of this year, I shall be compelled to withdraw from it in order to take a different legal step to seek justice.”