By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Government has absolved the five students and five employees of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, accused of the death of Sylvester Oromoni, 12, a student of the school.
Also cleared by the government from being responsible for the death of the young boy, a nephew to Delta state deputy governor, Kingsley Otuaro, was a management staff of the school.
The students exonerated by the government through the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, were: Favour Benjamin, 16, Edward Begue (16), Ansel Temile (14) Kenneth Inyang and Micheal Kashamu, 16, son of late Senator, Buruji Kashamu.
Staff cleared were: Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Bariyu, Adesanya Olusegun and Mr Adeyemi.
According to the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, the autopsy report ruled out a case of murder and toxicology found no harmful substance in his body
The clearance came following the Legal Advice of the DPP, Ms Adetutu Oshinusi.
According to the legal advice addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID and the trial magistrate, Magistrate Olatunbosun Adeola, 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.
The legal advice added that the result of the toxicology is also not indicative of any toxic or poisonous substance in the body of the deceased as claimed by the family.
The DPP’s legal advice, therefore, concluded that “based on the findings, there is no prima facie case of murder, involuntary manslaughter and or malicious administering of poison with intent to harm against the five students, mentioned above.
The state also cleared the minors of belonging to unlawful society due to insufficient facts to establish the offence.
”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” DPP stated.