The Lagos State Government has cleared five students and five staff of Dowen College accused of complicity in the death of Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old student of the school whose death late last year sparked national outrage.
The state government also cleared the school following the Legal Advice of the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Ms. Adetutu Oshinusi, which was addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID and the trial magistrate, Magistrate Olatunbosun Adeola.
The advice said the interim and final autopsy reports issued by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and toxicology report of post-Mortem samples and that of the Central Hospital, Warri were in agreement as to the cause of death namely: Septicaemia, Lobar Pneumonia with Acute Pyelonephritis, Pyomyositis of the right ankle and Acute Bacteria Pneumonia due to severe Sepsis.
It further said that the result of the toxicology is also not indicative of any toxic or poisonous substance in the body of the deceased.
The DPP’s legal advice, therefore, 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 state also cleared the minors of belonging to unlawful society due to insufficient facts to establish the offence.
It stated that “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 state also cleared the school 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.
The state thus directed that all the suspects should be released if they are still in custody.