The Lagos State government has cleared ten students and employees of Dowen College accused of being complicit in the death of Sylvester Oromoni on Nov
The state government cleared the school as well as the staff and students after receiving legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Adetutu Oshinusi, in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, reports Channels TV.
The legal advice was addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, and the trial magistrate, Magistrate Olatunbosun Adeola.
According to Oshinusi’s advice, the interim and final autopsy reports issued by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and the toxicology report of post Mortem samples and that of the Central Hospital, Warri, were in agreement as to the cause of death which was: Septicaemia, Lobar Pneumonia with Acute Pyelonephritis, Pyomyositis of the right ankle and Acute Bacteria Pneumonia due to severe Sepsis.
The toxicology reports also did not indicate any toxic or poisonous substance in the body of the deceased.
Based on these findings, the DPP’s legal advice concluded that there is no ostensive case of murder, involuntary manslaughter and or malicious administering of poison with intent to harm against the five students, Favour Benjamin aged 16, Micheal Kashamu (15), Edward Begue (16), Ansel Temile (14) and Kenneth Inyang (15).
The five students were also cleared of belonging to an unlawful society due to insufficient facts to establish the case.
“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”, the state said.
The five employees of the school were also cleared of charges of ‘Negligent Act’ contrary to section 252 of the Criminal Law Ch. C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State 2015.
The state directed that all the suspects were to be released if they were still in custody.
The tragedy of Sylvester’s death came to light after the cousin of the deceased, @perrisonoromoni on Twitter, posted pictures announcing that he had died after being “beaten to death at a school that cost over 1 million naira”.
He also posted a video of Sylvester in pain, crying and mentioning the names of some fellow students, presumed to be the alleged perpetrators of the torture.
The video shows the deceased crying severely and bleeding from the mouth, while mentioning the other students’ names.
Recall that the Lagos State Government ordered indefinite closure of the school following the public outrage which the incident generated, after which the Lagos State Commissioner of Police announced that the students accused of allegedly assaulting Sylvester were in police custody.
Eventually, on December 9th, the five students were remanded in a juvenile home but were granted bail in the sum of N1 million each on the 21st of that month by a Chief Magistrates’ court in Yaba, Lagos.