Sylvester Oromoni, a young and aspiring 12-year old boy who was a student of Dowen College in Lekki, Lagos. He was the last child of Mr. Syvelster Oromoni. Snr and Rosemary Oromoni.
He was born on December 4, 2010. Sylvester died on November 30, 2021, after it was allegedly reported that he was bullied, beaten, and poisoned by his seniors at school.
It all began when the parents got a call from the school authorities about the critical condition of the deceased. The report had been that he had been injured from a football game with his mates.
He was picked by a relative who lived in Lagos for medical attention. Unfortunately, his condition worsened which prompted his father to travel from Asaba to Lagos to pick him up.
At home, Sylvester unravels what had happened to him at school which was contrary to what the school had said. He claimed he was bullied and beaten mercilessly by a gang of five seniors who came into his room in the night.
He told his parents he was forced to drink a substance that remains a mystery. The names of the accused five bullies are Aslem Temile, Benjamin Favour, Michael Kashamu, Edward Begue, and Kenneth Inyang.
Sylvester spent his last days writhing in pains and agony. He was bedridden with his condition getting worse day by day. He was receiving medical attention at home before he was taken to an undisclosed hospital where gave up the ghost.
The news of Sylvester’s death sparked an outrage and Dowen College had to be shut down by the Lagos State Government for the moment. There are several allegations about a cult group in the school and several cases of bullying. The suspicion and the anger increased when there was a report that some of the accused students came to whisk their children from the school before a proper investigation could be conducted.
The cause of the death of the late Sylvester Oromoni remains a mystery as there are twists and turns in the investigation of his death.
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Sylvester’s Sister testified
Amanda, Sylvester’s sister and a former student of the school testified at the Coroner Inquest court that Sylvester had been a victim of bullying and occasional beating. She disclosed that Sylvester had one time made it known to Favour Benjamin, their colleague that he had seen her nakedness to evade being bullied.
She made it further known to the court that the suspension of those involved was a ruse. In her words “I actually thought the boys were suspended because when Joseph Aisagbonhi came to apologize, he was flaunting a paper in his hand which I felt was a suspension letter but I later discovered it was not.
“Even when I later discovered that they were not suspended and I eventually wanted to call my parents, Mrs. Celine (a school official) did not allow me to call them.”
The situation made her and Anita, their elder sister request for Sylvester’s room to be changed but all was in vain. She said the boys continued bullying Sylvester Oromoni and promise to make him a scapegoat.
In her testimony, she disclosed that Wesley, a former student of the school had to be withdrawn from the school due to bullying. She had told the court that this fact was made known to her by Wesley himself over their conversation on Instagram.
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After Sylvester’s death, his body was taken to the Central Hospital, Warri, Delta State where a post-mortem examination was carried out by Clement Vhriterhire. The results of the autopsy revealed that the deceased died from an acute lung injury as a result of a black chemical substance found in his body. The autopsy added that blunt force trauma was also a reason for the cause of death.
The circulation of the autopsy results on social media brings about a fresh outcry from the public. They were petitions made for the permanent closure of Dowen School. Attacks and criticism for justice were the order of the day against the school management, the accused students, and their families.
The situation took a new twist when the toxicology report revealed that the deceased cause of death was sepsis. The toxicology had been left out when the autopsy results were being circulated across the internet. This discovery calls for a new autopsy to be carried out for better clarification.
The new autopsy was carried out at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) on December 14, 2021. The exercise involved the supervision of 10 pathologists across different states in Nigeria.
The head of the team was Dr. Sunday Soyemi, a pathologist from Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. For transparency, the family also was allowed to bring in their representative of which they brought in Mr. Clement Vhriterhire who had conducted the first autopsy.
According to the second autopsy results, the cause of death was “Septicemia following infections of the lungs and kidneys arising from the ankle wound” which was a validation of the results of the initial toxicology reports. The report also indicated that a toxicology report could not be carried out as the facility is not equipped to carry it out.
Also, he criticized the first autopsy as he stated it was one of the reasons a toxicology report was not taken. According to him, he explained that the blood, fluid, vitreous and gastric content needed for examination were not available due to the first autopsy procedure.
However, Mr. Oromoni still held his ground and was in disagreement with the results. He stated the post-mortem was not transparent enough as his representative was shoved aside during the process. He claimed the ankle wound was a farce and an effort to thwart what happened.
Dowen College Exonerated
The second autopsy result exonerated Dowen College of having hands in the murder of the deceased as it states that Sylvester’s cause of death was natural. In addition, the report indicates an ankle injury which corroborates with the claims of the school that Sylvester Oromoni injured himself in a football game.
However, the family of the deceased can still challenge the verdict of the Director of Public Prosecution in a court of law if they wish.
At the time of writing, the final verdict from the inquest has not been made known. We hope the process is transparent and lead to the truth.
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Summary of Sylvester Oromoni Full Story
The death of Sylvester Oromoni was painful as his ambitions were cut short at a tender age. He was admired and loved by everyone because of his cheerful attitude.
The unfortunate incident is an eye-opener for school owners and management to set in place measures to stop bullying in their various schools. Although, the autopsy report might suggest no case of bullying it is still worthwhile to curb it.