The Lagos State Government has cleared five students and five employees of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, accused of complicity in the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni.
Also cleared by the state government were five employees of the 24-year-old college.
The state cleared the students, staff as well as the school based on the legal advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ms. Adetutu Oshinusi.
A copy of the legal advice from the DPP was addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, and the trial magistrate, Magistrate Olatunbosun Adeola.
Oshinusi said the interim and final autopsy reports issued by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and toxicology report of postmortem samples and that of the Central Hospital, Warri, were in agreement as to the cause of death of Sylvester Oromoni, which is septicaemia, lobar pneumonia with acute pyelonephritis, pyomyositis of the right ankle and acute bacteria pneumonia due to severe sepsis.
The DPP said the result of the toxicology did not indicate any toxic or poisonous substance in the body of the late Sylvester Oromoni.
In the legal advice, she concluded that based on these findings, there is no prima facie 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 DPP report also cleared the five students of belonging to unlawful society due to insufficient facts to establish the offence.
“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 report stated.
Meanwhile, the report cleared the college and five employees; Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Ayomo Bariyu, Adesanya Olusesan Olusegun and one Adeyemi of the offence of negligent act causing harm contrary to section 252 of the Criminal Law Ch. C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State 2015.
Based on the conclusion of the report, the DPP, directed that the students and staff be released if they are still in custody. The 12-year-old JSS 2 student of the college died November 28th, 2021 at a hospital in Warri, Delta State.
Following his death, the Lagos State Government immediately shut the school to allow for investigation while some parents staged protest and organized Candle light procession for the late Sylvester Oromoni.
His death generated ripples prompting the Lagos State Police Command to arrest five students and five staff of the college. The release of the DPP report is coming less than 24 hours after Daily Sun reporter asked the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefiayo, during the tour of schools on Tuesday, the fate of the college with resumption of 2021/2022 academic session in the state.
Adefiayo said the state government is awaiting the report of the investigation into the death of the pupil.