The Lagos State Coroner will commence an inquest into the death of Dowen College pupil, Sylvester Oromoni on January 15, 2022 at the Epe Chief Magistrate Court.
The news came as the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution exonerated both members of staff and five students of Dowen College arrested over suspicions that the late Oromoni was murdered. The DPP advised the police to release them forthwith as they have no case to answer.
The family however rejected the DPP advice, appealing to the President Muhammadu Buhari, Attorney General of the Federation, and the National Human Rights Commission to look into the case. In a press release, Mr Sylvester Omoroni senior said he had instructed his lawyers to do everything within the purview of the law to get justice for his son.
Even as the events unfold further, Lagos State Ministry of Justice hurriedly transferred the DPP that signed the DPP advice, Ms Adetutu Oshinusi out of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to the Directorate of Citizens Rights. A deputy director, Oshinusi took over from Mrs Adenrera Olayinka Adeyemi who was appointed a judge of the High Court of Lagos State. A new DPP Dr Babajide Martins, who was Head, Office of the Public Defender (OPD) was moved in as DPP. In a memo signed by the State Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, the new appointments took immediate effect. No reason was given for the change.
The coroner’s letter was addressed to the Oromoni family lawyer, Femi Falana SAN, by the Coroner in charge of Epe District, Mikail Olukayode Kadiri on January 4, 2022. According to the letter, the Chief Coroner of Lagos State, Justice Mojisola Dada approved the coroner inquest into the death of the late Oromoni. Kadiri advised parties to file and serve deposition of all witnesses and all those who needs to be summoned before the court. The depositions according to the Coroner may the filed at any magisterial district in Lagos State and served electronically on all parties involved.
In chat with Gavel International, Falana questioned the integrity of the Lagos DPP advise. “At the appropriate time, we shall investigate and tear apart the advise at the coroner’s inquest”, he concluded.