A coroner’s inquest is being sought by the family.
Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, said yesterday that he had been briefed by the family of Sylvester Omoroni Jr, a 12-year-old pupil of Dowen College, Lekki, who died last Tuesday of injuries received from suspected cultists and bullies at the school.
Sylvester Omoroni Jr., the family’s leader, has requested a coroner’s inquest into their son’s death.
The family made the request through Falana in a letter to Justice Mojisola Dada, Chief Coroner of Lagos State, dated December 6, 2021.
“We are a firm of legal practitioners committed to the defence of human rights, rule of law, and public accountability in Nigeria,” said Taiwo Olawanle of Falana’s law practise in a letter signed by him. The family of Sylvester Oromoni, who died from injuries purportedly acquired during a beating by his colleagues who wanted him to join their secret cult group, has briefed us.
“Given the untimely death of Sylvester Oromoni, we are compelled to request that you use your good offices to have a coroner’s inquest held into the cause of death of this young and promising boy and make appropriate recommendations pursuant to Section 15 of the Lagos State Coroner’s Law 2007, which provides that an inquest shall be held whenever a coroner is informed that a deceased person within his Coroner District died as a result of a death in a violent, unnatural or suspicious situation.”
Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, the wife of Lagos State Governor, condemned the boy’s death as “heartbreaking and a slap on the state.”
Mrs. Sanwo-Olu gave a speech at a school yesterday as part of the continuing 16 Days of Activism Against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
She went to Aje Comprehensive Junior High School and Aje Comprehensive Senior High School in Sabo-Yaba, as well as Dolphin Senior High School and Dolphin Junior High School in Tapa, Lagos Island.
“The world is marking the 16 days of activism against SGBV, starting November 25 and ending on December 10 (Human Rights Day),” she stated. The United Nations (UN) is the global champion of the initiative, and this year’s theme is “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now.”
“The Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum, NGOs, and many other private individuals and organisations are also championing the advocacy to maintain Nigeria’s zero tolerance for gender-based violence, particularly in Lagos.”
“We determined that our grassroots advocacy would be community sensitization, which we accomplished on November 29.” We then followed up with visits to religious leaders in our areas to raise awareness. The third element of our advocacy efforts is a visit to schools.
“It’s best to catch them young so the seed can germinate gradually,” says the author. “We can help our students develop the right mindset, understand why these vices exist, and what the law says about them.”
She also gave each school laptops, industrial cooking gas, and other instructional supplies, vowing to visit more schools and other important organisations in the future.
Mrs. Cecilia Dada, the Commissioner for Women’s Affairs, stated victims can seek assistance by calling “the crucial violence response team on 08000333333.”
Ijaw Women Connect (IWC), a Yenagoa-based socio-cultural organisation, denounced “the brutal assassination of Oromoni Jnr. in total and in strong words.”
IWC’s President, Mrs Rosemary John-Oduone, and spokesman, Mrs Izuogere Iwolo, issued a statement urging security agencies to apprehend the criminals.
“We, as Ijaw mothers whose sister and brother lost a highly promising and bright child, will not stand by and let Sylvester Oromoni Jnr suffer while those responsible for his premature death get away with it.”
The public was aware of an alleged scheme by the parents of the five boys accused of murdering Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr) to smuggle the suspects out of Nigeria to avoid justice, according to the organisation.
Suspects who have been transported overseas should be repatriated by Interpol.
The Crime Victims Foundation of Nigeria (CRIVIFON), a human rights organisation, has encouraged the police to use Interpol to bring back all suspects in the torture and killing of Omoroni Jnr, who may have relocated overseas.
Mrs Gloria Egbuji, Executive Director of CRIVIFON, offered the recommendation in response to intelligence reports that some parents of youngsters involved in the incident may have relocated them abroad.
Mrs Egbuji, in a statement released by CRIVIFON yesterday, said the circumstances surrounding Oromoni’s death, as described by his father in an Arise Television News interview, were “very condemnable,” given the college’s standing.
“If Dowen College authorities had been cognizant of the fact that as an Ivy league school with large fees, they should have showed more dedication to the welfare and safety of its students,” the statement stated.
Mrs Egbuji wondered why the College’s management had not taken a proactive interest in dealing with Sylvester’s safety concerns highlighted by his elder sister Amanda Oromoni, who is also a student at the college.
“In light of the inexplicable circumstances surrounding the student’s death, as well as the alleged report that some of those accused of bullying and torturing him have already been relocated overseas by their parents, CRIVIFON would like the police authorities…to bring anyone directly or remotely connected to the gruesome incident to justice.”
“If it is revealed that any of them has moved to another location, the parents should be held liable for producing such students for prosecution.” In light of the gravity of the offence, Interpol can be used to bring them back to Nigeria if they have relocated outside the nation,” it stated.