Lagos CP: No evidence to prosecute housemasters, students in Oromoni’s case

Hakeem Odumosu, a retired assistant inspector general of police (AIG) Hakeem Odumosu, a retired assistant inspector general of police (AIG)

Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos police commissioner, says Sylvester Oromoni died a “natural death”.

Oromoni, a student of Dowen College Lagos, died last November after he was allegedly attacked by five colleagues.

His father claimed the 12-year-old was beaten and fed a liquid chemical that eventually led to his death, but Dowen College dismissed the allegation.

The college argued that the boy sustained injuries while playing football with colleagues.


Odumosu had ordered a probe into the case while the school was sealed off by the ministry of education.

Two autopsies were conducted on the deceased, one by the Delta police and the second by the force’s Lagos command.

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


After the probe, Odumosu said findings had been forwarded to the state’s department of public prosecution (DPP).

A Lagos magistrate court then granted bail to the five students charged with the alleged murder of the dead boy.

The police also released a housemaster and other staff of the school, saying the court order to detain them elapsed.

In the DPP’s advice released to the press, it was stated that the police investigation and the two autopsies conducted on the body of the deceased student failed to establish a prima facie case against the suspects.



Responding to claims that the police and state forces were covering up the circumstances surrounding Oromoni’s death, Odumosu attributed the deceased’s passing to a chain of infections that started with an ankle injury.

In a press conference on Friday, he said the death was caused by septicaemia following infections of the lungs and kidneys arising from the ankle wound.

Also called sepsis, septicaemia is a life-threatening complication of an infection that occurs when chemicals released in the bloodstream to fight an infection trigger inflammation throughout the body.


This can cause a cascade of changes that damage multiple organ systems, sometimes resulting in death.

Odumosu said an examination of his stomach contents showed Oromoni died naturally, not by chemical intoxication.


“Findings at the second autopsy include marked pallor of organs, pneumonia, infections of the liver and kidneys as well as the heart. These infections emanated from the ankle infection described earlier in the report,” he said.

“Microscopic sections also confirmed these findings. Death was caused by Septicaemia following infections of the lungs and kidneys arising from the ankle wound. No evidence of blunt force trauma in this body.


“The findings in the oesophagus and stomach are not compatible with chemical intoxication. Death, in this case, is natural.”

The Lagos CP said neither the housemasters of the school nor the students can be prosecuted based on the evidence.


“Legal advice, however, indicated that ‘there is no prima facie case of murder, involuntary manslaughter and or malicious administering of poison with intent to harm’ against the students and the House Masters,” he added.

“Hence, they cannot be prosecuted. Hence they were all released on bail. The final result of the autopsy and DPP advice were officially released by the State government earlier in the week.”


On the protest organised by the Ijaw Youth Council in front of Dowen College on Thursday in response to the DPP’s verdict, the CP said the police would not fold their hands and watch a breakdown of law and order play out in Lagos.

“The protesters who conducted themselves in a manner capable of causing a breach of peace caused a temporary traffic jam. But for the professional way the police managed the protest, it would have led to violence,” he said.

“We commiserate with the bereaved family on the death of their promising child.

“It is advised that the protesters and other individuals or groups who are still aggrieved should go to the law court to seek redress instead of taking the law into their own hands.

“Thus, members of the public who may have any misgivings about the outcome of the police investigation, medical enquiry and legal advice with this case are advised to follow due process in law rather than resorting to self-help.

“The police will not fold their arms and allow any act or omission that could threaten the peace being enjoyed in the state.”

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