According to a report by The PUNCH, Sylvester Oromoni (Senior), the father of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni (Junior), a pupil of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, who died in controversial circumstances, on Tuesday, said he alleged “massive conspiracy” in the investigation of his son’s death because the police released the suspects when they should be in remand.
The news of Sylvester’s death went viral following a social media post by his cousin, Perry Oromoni, who alleged that some senior pupils of the college beat him up in his hostel because he refused to join a cult.
But the school denied the claim, stating that the boy complained of leg pain following an injury he sustained while playing football.
A coroner inquest was set up to look into the circumstances surrounding the death.
Oromoni (Senior), during cross-examination by the state counsel, Akin George, at the resumed proceedings on Tuesday, told the inquest that the police released the accused students before the expiration of the 21 days remand order granted by a magistrate’s court.
He said, “I said there was a massive conspiracy and it was clearly stated in the police report. A Magistrates’ Court in Yaba requested for 21 days and after 14 days, the boys were granted bail when the police were not done with their investigations.
“I called the Deputy Commissioner of Police at Panti and he told me to give him some time.
“After about two to four minutes he called me back and confirmed it that they were given 21 days for their investigations and that the boys had just spent 14 days in detention. They (police) said they were going to write a protest letter. They were already interrogating two of the students, so they were taken by surprise.”
Oromoni (Senior), in cross-examination by the counsel for the school, Anthony Kpokpo, explained why he drove the deceased from Lagos to Warri by road.
Oromoni had earlier told the court that flights to Warri, Asaba and Benin were fully booked for November 26, 2021, when he took the deceased back to Warri.
However, when the deceased’s father was asked under cross-examination by Kpokpo why he did not book return tickets for himself and the deceased when he came to Lagos, he noted that he thought his son’s sickness was mild and could be treated in Lagos.
He said, “I didn’t book a return flight because the school said it was leg pain he had and I thought it was something that could be treated in Lagos.”
While being asked by counsel for one of the accused students, Godwin Omoaka (SAN), why a recording of where the deceased allegedly named the accused students was not made as the family made videos of the deceased before he died, Oromoni (Senior) noted that the videos being made were to give testimony in church if the deceased survived the sickness.
“Those videos were recorded to give testimony in church. Nobody knew he was going to die. The videos were made that if God saved him, we would give thanksgiving and testimony of what the boy went through,” he added.
The Coroner, Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri, adjourned proceedings till February 21, 2022, for continuation of cross-examination.