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Sylvester Oromoni’s Father Challenges Coroner’s Findings, Alleges Cover-Up

In his conclusion, Mr Oromoni Snr recommended further investigation of the matter in the interest of justice.


A combination of file photos of the front gate of Dowen College and the late Sylvester Oromoni

 

 

The father of the late student of Dowen College, Lagos, Sylvester Oromoni jnr. has again alleged a cover up in the coroner’s findings regarding the cause of his son’s death.

In a five-page statement personally signed by him and made available to Channels Television, Sylvester Oromoni Snr said that the Coroner, Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri, who inquired into the cause of his son’s death deliberately delayed his findings so as to cover up the cause of the tragic death.

He said, “The coroner, Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri commenced hearing on 21st day of January 2022 and concluded on the 9th day of October, 2023 after calling 32 witnesses. The coroner delivered his verdict on the 15th day of April, 2024, after two years.

“During the reading of the verdict of 325 pages, the Coroner shed crocodile tears not less than seven times in open court. In fact, he had to rise twice and retired into his chambers to cry more than the bereaved. The coroner claimed that my son died of natural cause. The Coroner deliberately delayed the case in order to cover up the cause of the tragic death of my son as I will explain below”.

Mr Oromoni said this “dubious verdict” will not discourage him from pursuing justice especially to ensure that all other students in Dowen College and other schools do not suffer the same fate his late son did.

While narrating what happened at the inquest, Mr Oromoni disclosed that despite the request of his legal team led by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, for a visit to Dowen College to enable the Coroner to ascertain the state of the school before the death of his son, it took the Coroner about 17 months to finally carry out the visit, ostensibly to give the management enough time to fix up the physical deficiencies in the school.

“In his desperate bid to exonerate Dowen College of any liability, the Coroner turned round in his verdict to applaud the authorities of the school for upgrading the facilities during the proceedings,” Oromoni Senior stated.

He also accused the Coroner of suppressing material facts of the bullying of his son by a clique of students, in order to further exonerate the management of Dowen College of any liability.

Mr Oromoni noted that though the coroner proceeded to blame the cause of death on “parental negligence”, it is on record that no witness indicted him as he took all steps recommended by the family doctor to save the life of his son.

In rejecting what he called “the wicked and heartless conclusion of the Coroner”, Mr Oromoni detailed areas in the Coroner’s findings where he alleged vital evidences were suppressed as well as the alleged negligence of Dowen College which led to his son’s death.

He also narrated how his son was allegedly killed as well as the role of the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution which gave two contradictory legal opinions, one recommending the prosecution of Dowen College and another exonerating the school and its management even in the absence of fresh proof to back same.

In his conclusion, Mr Oromoni Snr recommended further investigation of the matter in the interest of justice.

While thanking the good people of Nigeria who stood by the family, Oromoni Senior also called on the Lagos State Government to investigate several cases of bullying in Dowen College.

He said, “Since the coroner decided to cover up the killers of my son, we shall take appropriate actions to unravel the mystery surrounding his death. Finally, I am compelled to call on the Lagos State Government to take urgent steps to investigate the several cases of bullying of students in Dowen College. The students and management staff involved in inflicting torture on helpless students in the school should be brought to book without any delay”.