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Dowen College: Police release housemaster, suspected students; Sylvester’s father cries foul

Dowen College: Police release housemaster, suspected students; Sylvester’s father cries foul

The Lagos Police Command has released the housemaster and other suspects detained over the death of Sylvester Oromoni, a student of Dowen College, even as autopsy reports have not been made public.

The commissioner of police in Lagos, Hakeem Odumosu, on Friday, disclosed that the housemasters and other suspects were released because they had not been indicted of murder. 

Mr Odumosu who stated the result of autopsy conducted in Lagos had been released, noted that the court order to remand the suspects had elapsed.

“Since the medical report has not indicted them so far, I think there is a need for them to have their freedom because bail is not the end of the case,” he said.

“The corpse was brought from Delta to Lagos. The post-mortem was carried out in Lagos. The result is out. As of now, it has not brought out the issue of murder on anybody (sic). Toxicology is still to be carried out which is the final one. The interim one has not. Based on that, the court order we got has elapsed and we have released the housemaster and others on bail as of yesterday because they have not been indicted of murder. It is only murder cases that are not subject to bail,” Mr Odumosu added.

However, Sylvester Oromoni, the father of the late student, faulted the development by the police, describing it as unacceptable.

“I saw the press briefing by the police commissioner that no one has been indicted and they have been released. The autopsy result conducted in Lagos has not been made public. The one we conducted in Warri has not been made public. So, for him to conclude that no one has been indicted is not acceptable to the family,” he said.

Mr Oromoni accused the police of acting “hurriedly”. He also claimed that the family summoned the Inspector-General of Police to take over the case, after it suspected that the police would release the suspects.

“The police have led the Nigerian public and we are not comfortable with this. We sent the corpse to Lagos but why are they waiting for the toxicology report from Delta? Can’t they do it together with the autopsy they are conducting?” he further queried.

It was discovered that young Oromoni died of “acute lung injury due to chemical intoxication in a background of blunt force trauma” after an autopsy was conducted by the Consultant Pathologist, Dr Clement Vhriterhire, at the Central Hospital Warri, Delta State. 

The police in Lagos had also ordered that the body of the late student be conveyed to the state for the conduct of another autopsy.

There have been outrages and controversies following the death of the Junior Secondary School Two student who was reportedly tortured over his refusal to join a secret cult group in the school.

The management of the school had claimed that the young Oromoni died as a result of injuries sustained while he played football.

The school’s claim was despite video evidence and the 12-year-old’s revelation that he was tortured by his fellow students who pressured him to join a cult group in the school. Dowen College insisted that he died after sustaining leg injury while playing football.

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