Mr. Sylvester Oromoni Snr., father of the late Dowen College student, has alleged a cover-up between the Nigeria Police Force and Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) over the circumstances surrounding the death of his son.
Oromoni Snr. made the allegations on Tuesday at an Ikeja Coroner’s Court, while being cross-examined by Mr. Akin George, Counsel to Lagos State Government.
According to NAN, he raised questions about why the five senior students of Dowen College, who allegedly bullied his son, were exonerated and released by the DPP’s advice 14 days into the 21-day remand order given by a Yaba Magistrates’ Court.
He noted that the Magistrate Court had given the 21-day remand order to give the police time to carry out investigations into the matter.
The witness, who was very emotional and often breaking down in tears during his testimony, questioned the timing of the release of the five students by the DPP.
Oromomi Snr. said: “There is a massive cover-up and it is clearly here (in the police report).
“A Magistrates’ Court in Yaba requested 21 days and after 14 days, the boys were granted bail when the police were not done with their investigations.
“When I saw the Lagos State Commissioner of Police (Hakeem Odumosu) and told him about it, he told me that it was not tru, claiming that they were not done with their investigations.
“He even said that on the day it was said that they had released those boys, the courts were not sitting.
”I then called the Deputy Commissioner of Police, he told me the same thing and told me to give him some time.
“After about two to four minutes, he called me back and he confirmed that they were given 21days for their investigations and the boys had just spent 14 days in detention.
“They (police) said they were going to write a protest letter. They were already interrogating two of the students and revelations were coming out so they were taken by surprise.
“The same Commissioner of Police, after some days now publicly declared that at the instance of Mr Governor, the Attorney-General and the DPP, said there was nothing wrong with the boys therefore they’ve released them.”
Oromoni Snr said that Odumosu had addressed the public during the 2021 Christmas public holidays and that there were only three working days (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) that week.
“At what point did they complete their investigation, give all the case files to the DPP to go through and the DPP to come up with their report?
“This is why I am saying there is a very massive conspiracy going on,” he said.
Earlier during proceedings, George said that, according to the Police reports, the eyewitnesses at the school denied that Oromoni Jnr was beaten in his room.
Reading an excerpt of the report, he said: “Furthermore, the allegation of putting off the light, bullying and beating him could not be proven as eyewitnesses denied that such incident ever happened.”
The five students of Dowen College were remanded in a juvenile home after they were charged with conspiracy and homicide over the death of their 12-year-old schoolmate by Chief Magistrate Olatunbosun Adeola, on Dec. 9, 2021.
Recall that on Dec. 21, 2021, Adeola granted the Dowen College students bail in the sum of N1 million with two sureties in like sum.
The Lagos State DPP advice released on Jan. 4, disputed the allegations that Oromoni’s death was caused by injuries resulting from bullying.
The DPP advice noted that an autopsy revealed Oromoni’s cause of death as acute bacterial pneumonia due to severe sepsis.