Oromoni’s Inquest: Police Indicts DPP

The Police officer who investigated the misery surrounding the death of the Dowen College student, Slyvester Oromoni Jnr, has told the Coroner Inquest that their investigation were interrupted with double Legal Advice.

A Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP Bamidele Olusegun told Coroner magistrate Mikhail Kadiri that staff of Dowen college were indicted in the first legal advice issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The Police witness told the court that he received a report from the DPP dated December 30, 2021 which was called interim legal advice recommended that the staff and the student should be prosecuted for negligence.

According to him, the interim report indicted Mrs Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Ayomo Bariyu, Adesanya Olusegun and Mr. Adeyemi and Dowen College.

CSP Olusegun, who served in the homicide section of the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti in 2021 made this disclosure in the ongoing inquest into the controversial death of 12-year-old student of the Dowen College student, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.

While being cross-examined by Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, the witness also told the Coroner that he received another legal advice dated January 4.

The witness further affirmed that he conducted a thorough investigation on the matter and that the police protested that they were not allowed to conclude investigation on the matter.

When the witness was showed a protest letter written to the Chief Judge of Lagos State by the Police, on the development of the investigation, the witness confirmed the letter.

A portion of the letter that was read by the witness in the court stated that: “It came as a rude shock that the investigation was not allowed to be carried out” He also said the suspects were not brought back to the station for the conclusion of the investigation.

According to the IPO, during investigation, some of the suspects (students) informed him that the deceased was bullied and that he was taken to the third floor to be tortured.

When asked if any witness told him that the deceased was injured on the 14th of November, he said he can’t recollect.

The witness also affirmed that the deceased sister told her that he was also bullied sometimes in October and that the boy who allegedly bullied him was not punished for the act.

“She also confirmed to me that they bullied his brother because they wanted him to described her private parts.

He also revealed that a female parent of the school also reported a case of bully against her son by some students at Maroko police station.

He however said he could only speak to Benjamin Favour because the school was under lock during his investigation.

Narrating his involvement in the investigation, the police witness also said: “On 3rd of December, a petition forwarded to my office was assigned to me and the school was already closed down then. On 6th December, we were at Maroko police station, where we met the Principal, and the suspect. We took them down to Panti and obtained statements from the accused and the other management staff. We proceeded to a Yaba Magistrate’s court to get a remand order and the house masters was detained with us while the children were remanded at Oregun correctional home.

The deceased father’s statement was taken on 9th of December while the Lagos State Attorney General and the Lagos State Commissioner for Education were put on the phone during the interview with the parties.

“I recollect that I went to Warri to bring the corpse to Lagos and I had an interaction with the doctor, the consultant pathologists.

We arrived in Lagos January 13 with the corpse of the deceased while the autopsy was performed the next day before then, letters were dispatched to the parties asking them to be in attendance or send representative during the autopsy.

I later proceeded to Abuja to speak with one of the witnesses.

I also recollect that we visited the school on fact-findings and it was opened to us.

I remember that the doctor at the school hospital; Dr. Moji confirmed that she attended to the deceased between December 21st and 22nd.

“ She confirmed to me that she asked the nurse to massage the deceased legs and that paracetamol was also administered on him.”

When asked if the school has CCTV cameras, he said: “ Absolutely No”, there was no CCTV cameras in the school.

The DPP, Mr. Babajide Martins, counsel representing Lagos and Mr Anthony Kpokpo, who was representing Dowen School however informed the court that the said legal advices sought to be tendered by the witness and which Mr Falana SAN has cross-examined him with has not been front-loaded to them.

Kpokpo said : “It has become part of the deceased family to present documents that has not been front-loaded. We will not be able to continue with the cross-examination as a result of the surprises being pulled on us. “This is regrettable,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Babajide Martins led CSP Bamidele Olusegun in examination in chief.

The deceased father, Sylvester Oromoni Snr. had told the Coroner Inquest that his family wants justice for his late child against the three persons he mentioned in his last minute confession before he passed on.

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