Sylvester Oromoni: It’s Curious Coroner Ignored Evidence, Falana Faults

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Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has faulted the ruling of Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri, the Coroner who investigated the death of Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos State.

Recall that in the ruling delivered on Monday, the Coroner exonerated Dowen College and blamed the death of the deceased on the negligence of the family doctor.

Reacting to the ruling in a statement on Monday, Falana said “It is curious that the coroner ignored the evidence of the government pathologist that the “black substance” found in the stomach of the deceased was not subjected to toxicological examination.

The statement reads, “In his lengthy ruling delivered today, Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri, the Coroner who investigated the unfortunate death of Master Sylvester Oromoni Jnr., a 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos exonerated the authorities of Dowen College and blamed the unfortunate death of the deceased on the negligence of the family doctor.

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“It is curious that the coroner ignored the evidence of the government pathologist that the “black substance” found in the stomach of the deceased was not subjected to toxicological examination. The allegation was that the deceased was forced to drink a poisonous substance.

“The Acting Director of Public Prosecution of Lagos State at the material time had recommended that some staff and students be prosecuted for criminal negligence over the bullying of students in the school.

“Four days later, the Acting DPP turned round to say that there was no case to answer without any fresh evidence from the police investigators. The coroner ruled that the Acting DPP has the power to withdraw her recommendations at any time!

“The doctors who testified stated that the deceased died of sepsis and that the sepsis could have been caused by excessive massaging of the leg of the deceased.

“The coroner conveniently overlooked the fact that the school doctor and the nurses massaged the leg of the deceased for two days before inviting his parents to take him home.

“In an attempt to exonerate Dowen College, the coroner was silent on the overwhelming evidence of the bullying of the deceased, his sister, and other students by the same set of students.

“In particular, the coroner discountenanced the evidence of a student who had testified that he saw the deceased beaten up and subjected to torture by a group of senior students.

“In spite of such uncontradicted evidence, the coroner said that the deceased died of natural cause. The coroner claimed that the negligence of the family doctor led to the death of the deceased but failed to refer him to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for appropriate sanctions.”

In a judgment that lasted over six hours, the coroner said the deceased died a natural death while also holding that the death was however avoidable as the negligence of the parents and the medical team also contributed to it.

Magistrate Kadiri absolved some students of Dowen College named in the incident as he concluded that they played no part in the death of Sylvester, and should not have been involved in the matter.

Eagleonline

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