They Cleared Suspects To Reopen Dowen College, Falana Insists

They Cleared Suspects To Reopen Dowen College, Falana Insists
They Cleared Suspects To Reopen Dowen College, Falana Insists

Femi Falana, a distinguished lawyer and human rights advocate, has lashed out at the Lagos Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) judgement in the matter of Dowen College, Lekki.

Last November, Sylvester Oromoni, a Dowen student, died after being allegedly assaulted by five of his classmates.

The 12-year-father old’s said his son had been abused and given a liquid substance that killed him.

Dowen, on the other hand, had dismissed the claim, claiming that the youngster had been injured while playing football with his friends.

The Lagos police commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered an investigation into the case, and the institution has been closed.

The dead was subjected to two autopsies, one by the Delta police and the other by the Lagos police command.

The victim died of “chemical intoxication,” according to the first autopsy given to the public.

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Odumosu said the findings of a police investigation had been passed to the DPP.

Five pupils charged with Oromoni’s alleged murder were granted bail by a Lagos magistrate court.

A housemaster and other Dowen staff members were also released after a court order to hold them expired.

The police investigation and the two autopsies performed on the body of the deceased student, according to the DPP’s recommendation given on Wednesday, failed to establish a prima facie case against the suspects.

Falana, addressing to the media about the DPP’s decision, said it was “loaded with medical jargon” and didn’t address the allegation that the deceased was tortured and forced to drink a concoction for refusing to join an illegal society.

“In a report of that nature, you have to address each of the allegations and eliminate them one by one. Look at the very dubious way of dismissing whether the boy was forced to join a cult or an unlawful society,” he said.

“DPP said they didn’t find any insignia or uniform in the possession of the suspects, hence, there was no unlawful society. Is that how to prove the membership of an unlawful society? They must think they’re dealing with morons.

“Has that addressed the allegation that the boy was forced to drink a concoction or that he was beaten?

“If they found all those diseases [in the autopsy], when did they arise? You said he was injured on a football field.

“What kind of injury? Was there an opening in his body? Wounds can lead to sepsis. How did it lead to his death?

“It’s a very cheap attempt to cover. As far as the parents are concerned, this cannot be the end of the matter.”

“The report is escapist but hasn’t resolved the matter. It is pending before the coroner in Lagos. We expect the DPP to give evidence before the coroner. We’re going to apply to summon the DPP on January 15,” Falana explained.

“Neither in Warri nor in Lagos is there a lab to confirm poisonous substances [in post-mortem examinations].

“The commissioner of police said on December 31 that they were awaiting the report of a toxicologist. Do they have that report? No. And that is the most important aspect of the investigation. So, the probe is not conclusive.

“This is only the report of the DPP based on the information made available to him. The full facts are not out. We challenge the doctors and the DPP to produce the toxicologist’s report on the substance he was forced to drink.

“Unless you can show that, you haven’t concluded. You can’t just declare that everyone has been exonerated. They just wanted to justify the reopening of the school, which should be announced very soon. That’s all.”


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