The Lagos State Government on Wednesday promised to ensure justice is done regarding the case of a deceased student of Dowen College, Lekki, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, who died in controversial circumstances on November 30, 2021.
This is also as the management of the college on Wednesday said it would look into the concerns raised by the family of the late student.
This is following a statement on Tuesday by the family of the deceased student, alleging a delay in the quest to unravel the circumstances that led to their son’s death.
Oromoni allegedly died as a result of bullying, assault, negligence and administration of a poisonous substance in the school. A coroner inquest ordered by the Lagos State Government to unravel the cause of death, which commenced on January 21, 2022, at the Magistrate Court, Epe (now Magistrate Court 20, Ogba) has yet to be concluded.
Mr Oromoni, the father of the deceased student, however alleged that the process was delayed more than expected, adding that inquests into similar incidents that occurred in the state had been concluded.
In a statement signed and made available to journalists in Warri, Delta State on Tuesday, Oromoni alleged that the Lagos State Government was delaying to charge to court Dowen College and all the staff members who had earlier been recommended for prosecution in the Director of Public Prosecutions Advice of December 30, 2021.
He equally said if the inquest was not concluded before the end of the year, he would be compelled to withdraw from it to take a different legal step to seek justice.
The bereaved father added that the college had since the commencement of the inquest put a lot of things in order in the school premises which were not available at the material time.
The spokesperson for the college, Jerry Adeyemi, told The PUNCH that both the school and the family had been advised not to speak to the media over the issue.
He said, “I am surprised that it is in a newspaper because the coroner inquest had advised that both the family and Dowen college should refrain from any media statement. And that is what we are still obeying. I am surprised their own family did that in the media. That was the instruction as of the time we started, and we believe that both parties are supposed to adhere to it; going to the media to make that comment is shocking to us. I have not seen the statement. I will have to go through it and react appropriately.”
The Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, said no one could influence the process of the coroner inquest adding that the state government would ensure justice was done.
He said, “It is something that is very painful to us. The state government is also working day and night to make sure that we do not have that kind of incident again. As a layman, I do not see how easy it is to shorten a legal process. Coroner inquest in my own view is statutory. It is not what someone can influence or say it should end on a particular day. And once that process takes off, I do not see how the government can hasten or delay it. We just allow it to take its course. And all that the state government is doing is just to ensure that justice is done.”