Five students – Favour Benjamin, Michael Kashamu, Edward Begue, Ansel Temile, and Kenneth Inyang – arrested in connection with the murder of twelve-year-old Sylvester Oromoni for refusing to join cultism have been cleared of all accusations by Adetutu Oshinusi, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.
The directive to clear the students was contained in legal advice signed by Ms Oshinusi to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), and the trial magistrate, Olatunbosun Adeola.
Ms Oshinusi asserted there was not sufficient evidence to establish that the arrested students were members of unlawful society.
“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,” the advice read.
Ms Oshinusi further said that to believe contrary to the statement would amount to sniffing for an offence and would be trying the students on speculation which is not permitted by law.
“It is trite law that suspicion no matter how grave cannot be a ground for conviction,” Ms Oshinusi added.
The school together with five of its employees namely Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Ayomo Bariyu, Adesanya Olusesan Olusegun and Adeyemi have also all been cleared of negligence in the matter.
The advice went on to further state that there is no proof that Mr Oromoni was murdered or that he was forced to drink poisonous substance as the autopsy reports carried out by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and that of the General Hospital in Warri agreed that the cause of death was septicaemia, lobar pneumonia with Acute pyelonephritis, pyomyositis of the right ankle and acute bacterial pneumonia due to severe sepsis.
According to the legal advice, the toxicology results do not indicate the presence of any harmful or poisonous substances in the deceased’s body. Despite attempting to rule out the possible contribution of other individuals to late Oromoni’s death, the legal advice and the autopsy it quoted did not attribute the death to natural causes and refused to order a more in-depth probe.
The interpretation of the autopsy result directly contradicts the assertions of notable health practitioners who have discussed the autopsy on social media to prevent a supposed cover-up by the government.
Medical practitioner and social media commentator Olufunmilayo Ogunsanya said that Late Oromoni’s autopsy said he had acute gastric erosion, scalded lips, acute lung injury, stomach injury, brain swelling, and internal bruises between his back and hips. This according to Mr Ogunsanya could prove amongst other things that the deceased was forced to drink a toxic chemical that burnt his lips and eroded his stomach which would have been responsible for the lung and stomach injuries as well as the brain swelling.
Mr Ogunsanya went on to say that Mr Oromoni’s injuries could not have been caused by football because he had bruised flanks – a region between the hips on the back that suggests he was kicked and beaten even after he had fallen to the ground.
Video of final moments of Mr Oromoni also obtained by Peoples Gazette indicated that he died of no natural causes, as it indicated that he was badly beaten to which the doctor attested to internal injuries.
These contradictions may fuel claims that the management of the institution may be making extra efforts to cover up the murder of the young student, although the management has fiercely denied any attempts at cover-up, saying it wants justice as much as every citizen concerned about the matter.