A coroner’s inquest into the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni (Junior), a pupil of the Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, will commence on January 15, 2022, The PUNCH has learnt.
According to the Chief Coroner of Lagos State, Justice M. A. Dada, the inquest will openly commence on January 15 at Magistrate Court No. 4, Epe District.
In a letter dated January 4, to the lawyers to the family of the deceased students, Femi Falana (SAN), the Coroner of Epe District, Mikail Kadiri, asked the lawyer to forward a list of suspects to be summoned to court.
The letter was titled, ‘Re: Request for Inquest into the tragic death of Sylvester Oromoni killed at Dowen College, Lekki. Lagos State’.
It read, “I have the directive of the Chief Coroner of Lagos State, Honourable Justice M. A. Dada to remind you that the inquest into the death of Sylvester Oromoni will commence on Saturday, 15th January, 2022 at Magistrate Court No. 4, Epe District, Combined High Court and Magistrate Court of Lagos State, Epe at 9:00am prompt; the hearing shall be in open Court.
“You are further reminded to file and serve depositions of all witnesses you intend to call at the inquest and forward a list of persons whom, in your opinion, needs to be summoned by the Court. The depositions may be filed at any of the Magisterial Districts in Lagos State and served electronically on all parties concerned. Please find attached the name, firm/representation and phone numbers of parties that attended the preliminary meeting held on the 16th December, 2021. Thank you.”
Sylvester’s died under controversial circumstances in November 2021 and his death went viral following a social media post by his cousin, Perry Oromoni, who alleged that some senior pupils of the school beat him up in his hostel because he refused to join a cult.
But the school denied the claim, stating that the boy complained of leg pains following an injury he sustained while playing football.
The state government ordered the indefinite closure of the school pending the outcome of an investigation into the matter.
Five students and five employees of the school were arrested by the police.
However, legal advice by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Adetutu Oshinusi, cleared the suspects.
But Falana and the father of the deceased student, Sylvester Oromoni Snr, noted that the acquittal of the suspects was to pave way for the reopening of the college.
Reacting to the DPP’s advice, the deceased’s father, said the family would seek its own legal advice.
He said, “I will not make my next line of action public for now, but what came out today is not strange to us. On December 31, the Commissioner of Police said at the instance of the DPP and the Attorney General he had released the house masters so far there was no case; so what came out today was not different from what the Commissioner of Police said.
“They are doing all these things because they want to open the school and they have their own agenda. This is just the beginning of the case; we have not even started. I will also advise the school not to open, and if they decide to open, there is no problem, we have not started this matter. We will get our legal advice and know the next action to take.”
Falana also said, “The report has not laid to rest the allegations surrounding the gruesome murder of Sylvester Oromoni. The report is escapist and hasty as the authorities are aware of the fact that the Chief Coroner of Lagos State has ordered that an inquest be conducted into the circumstances surrounding the unnatural death of Sylvester Oromoni. The inquest, which commenced before the coroner on December 16, 2021, has been adjourned till January 15, 2022 for further hearing.”