Court Admits Oromoni Family’s Interviews as Evidence

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The coroner’s inquiry into the death of Sylvester Oromoni, the deceased student of Dowen College Lagos, has admitted in evidence press interviews granted by his father.

The 12-year-old died last November after he was alleged to have been beaten by five colleagues for refusing to join a cult.

His father had claimed he was attacked and fed a liquid chemical that eventually led to his death.

Dowen College, however, dismissed the claim and alleged that the boy sustained injuries while playing football.

Two autopsies were carried out on Oromoni, one by the Delta police and the second by the force’s Lagos command.

The first autopsy had revealed that Oromoni died of “acute lung injury due to chemical intoxication”.

The department of public prosecution (DPP), after the second autopsy, said instead that Oromoni died naturally.

A coroner’s inquiry on the matter adjourned from February 8 continued on Monday at the high court in Ikeja.

During the February 7 sitting, the Oromoni family had submitted for admission as evidence a box belonging to the deceased but said to have been damaged during the alleged fatal attack that was said to have claimed the boy’s life.

They also presented a flash drive containing two audio files and videos capturing the deceased before his death.

In one of the audios, a colleague to the late Oromoni claimed the deceased was attacked by three to five students.

He said he had reported the matter to Dowen College’s vice-principal and was asked to write a statement to that effect.

To counter the claims made in the files, Godwin Omoaka, counsel to one of the accused Dowen College students, called the court’s attention to a disc containing four media interviews granted by the father of the deceased.

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The disc, which contained four press interviews granted to Arise TV (2), BBC Pidgin (1), and Punch Newspaper (1), was played before the court and admitted as evidence in the case.

On the basis of the interviews, the deceased’s father was questioned on matters previously addressed by other witnesses.

At about 5:30 pm, Mikhail Kadiri, the magistrate, adjourned to February 15 for the continuation of the hearing.

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