Five students and five employees of Dowen College, accused of complicity in the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni, have been cleared by the Lagos State government.
The students and the staff, as well as the school, were cleared following the Legal Advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ms. Adetutu Oshinusi.
A copy of the legal advice was addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID and the trial magistrate, Magistrate Olatunbosun Adeola.
Oshinusi said in her advice that 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.
She added that the result of the toxicology did not indicate any toxic or poisonous substance in the body of the deceased.
Based on the findings, the DPP’s legal advice, said there was 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 students were equally cleared by the Lagos State government of belonging to unlawful society, saying that there were no sufficient facts to establish the offence.
The advice read in part, “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 five employees of the school cleared are Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Ayomo Bariyu, Adesanya Olusesan Olusegun and one Adeyemi.
They were cleared 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.
Following the advice, the state government directed for the release of all the suspects if they are still in custody.