A policeman, CSP Bamidele Olusegun, said Dowen College was initially indicted in the first legal advice issued by the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) over the death of a 12-year-old student, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.
Olusegun, who is serving with the Homicide Section of the Lagos State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos; stated this on Monday, February 21, while testifying before an Ikeja Coroner’s Court.
While under cross-examination by counsel to the Oromoni family, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), the policeman said; he had received interim legal advice from the DPP dated Dec. 30, 2021; which recommended that the school and its staff should be prosecuted for alleged negligence.
Falana showed the witness a copy of the interim report; and requested that he should read the last paragraph of the document.
Reading it aloud, he said: “There are sufficient facts to establish this offence against Mrs Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Ayomo Bariyu, Adesanya Olusegun, and Mr Adeyemi and Dowen College.”
The witness also noted he received another legal advice dated Jan 4; which had exonerated Dowen College of involvement in the death of the deceased.
The witness affirmed that he conducted a thorough investigation on the matter; and he was aware that the police had protested that they were not allowed to conclude their investigations on the case; due to the issuance of the Jan. 4 DPP advice.
Olusegun identified a copy of the protest letter written to the Chief Judge of Lagos State by the police shown to him by Falana.
A portion of the letter, read aloud by the witness in the court; stated that: “It came as a rude shock that the investigation was not allowed to be carried out.”
He also said the suspects were not brought back to the police station for the conclusion of the investigation.
“During the investigation, one of the suspects informed me that the deceased was bullied.
“Another one also told me that he was taken to the third floor to be tortured,” he said.
When asked if any of the suspects had informed him that Oromoni was injured on Nov. 14, 2021, Olusegun said he did not have any recollection.
The policeman told the inquest that the sister of the deceased told him that her late brother was also bullied; sometime in October 2021 and that the boy who allegedly bullied him was not punished for the act.
“She also confirmed to me that they bullied her brother because they wanted him to described her private parts.
“I wouldn’t know the deceased was taken to the sickbay in October when he was bullied,” he said.
Olusegun confirmed during the cross-examination that a female parent had also reported that her son was bullied by some Dowen College students at the Maroko Police Station.
The Coroner, Mr Mikhail Kadiri, adjourned proceedings until Feb. 22 for a continuation of cross-examination