First Witness Testifies Before Coroner, Narrates Sylvester Oromoni’s Pain

Adeshola Soyele  
Updated January 22, 2022
A combination of file photos of a court gavel and late Sylvester Oromoni.


The coroner’s inquest into the circumstances surrounding the death of Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki resumed on Friday at the Magistrate Court sitting in Epe, Lagos State.

The court was surrounded by policemen, as Channels Television gathered that the police’s action following reports that some militants from Delta State planned to storm the venue of the inquest.

However, the claim could not be verified, and no one was willing to speak on tape on the issue.

Inside the courtroom, counsel to the Oromoni family and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, again asked the coroner to order the Commissioner of Police to release the certified true copies of the statements made by the suspected students and staff of Dowen College in the wake of the police investigation, as well as other relevant documents.

He was worried that despite the initial order by the coroner at the last sitting, the police had refused to comply.

READ ALSO: Sylvester Oromoni’s Death Not Caused By Poison, Torture – Police

Falana also informed the coroner, Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri, that he intended to call about seven witnesses to prove his case.

The first witness called to the box was late Sylvester’s guardian, Clifford Tejere, who gave his testimony about the painful circumstances in which he picked the boy from the school’s sickbay.

“On Tuesday, November 23 (2021), I was sent the phone number of the housemaster, Mr Ahmed,” he told the court. “When I got to the school, I was taken to the sickbay where Sylvester Oromoni was.”

Tejere said he was surprised to find the boy under the care of only one nurse and asked why he was not taken to the school hospital, but the nurse could not provide an answer.

“When I asked him (late Sylvester) what was wrong with him, he said that he played football and sustained injuries. I then asked him to try to stand up.

“As he attempted to stand up, he showed signs of serious pains. I had to carry Sylvester to the car with the help of a staff member because he could not walk.”

The witness testified that he called Sylvester’s father, after which he took the boy to a laboratory for an X-ray examination which showed no sign of fracture.

He added that Sylvester’s condition did not improve when he took him to the Oromoni family house in Abiola Court 5, Chevron, Lagos.

“After the x-ray, we went to the house after I bought hot balm and Panadol for him. I bathed him, applied the hot balm on his feet, gave him noodles, and tried to get him to sleep, but he was going through serious pain,” Tejere lamented.

He narrated how he had to make a video call with the boy’s father to convey the importance of what the deceased was going through.

According to the witness, Sylvester’s father came on November 25 and they decided to take the boy to Warri, Delta State.

He explained that the boy went through severe pain on their way to Warri and shortly before his death on November 30, he eventually confessed to his father that he was beaten by some boys in the school.

After giving the testimony, the coroner adjourned the further hearing in the case until Thursday and Friday next week.