Oromoni’s Death: I Never Asked Suspected Bullies If They Gave Deceased Pupil Substance To Drink, Dowen College Principal Tells Court

The Principal of Dowen College, Lagos, Adebisi Layiwola, has revealed she did not ask the suspected bullies of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr. if they gave him any substance to drink.
 
The 12-year-old pupil died on November 30, 2021. His death has continued to elicit heated controversies.


 
His family had alleged that he died from injuries he sustained in an attack by five senior students of Dowen College, for refusing to join a cult.
 
The family also claimed that the late pupil was forced to drink an obnoxious substance by his attackers.
 
But the school denied both claims, saying the late student only sustained a leg injury while playing football.
 
On Tuesday, the school principal appeared before an Ikeja Coroner’s Court where he was cross-examined by counsel for the Oromoni family, Mr Femi Falana (SAN)
 
Falana had asked if the witness asked the students whether they gave the deceased a substance to drink, as part of the allegations was that Sylvester Oromoni was given a poisonous substance to drink, which eventually led to his death.
 
Responding, she said: “I did not ask them.”
 
“Would you be surprised that a black substance was found in the deceased body?” Falana also asked.
 
The witness responded: “I would not be surprised because I am not a pathologist.”
 
Falana further enquired if the witness was aware that some parents had withdrawn their children from the school because of bullying allegations.
 
“No. I cannot remember,” she said.
 
Falana also asked Layiwola if she was aware that a parent had gone to Maroko Police Station to complain that her son was bullied.
 
Responding, she said: “Yes, it is true. The boy has been withdrawn after Sylvester’s case, and the boy that bullied him was expelled after the death of the deceased.”
 
The witness also testified that she did not see the deceased until November 23, 2021, adding that the condition of his health necessitated his admission at the school’s sickbay, with medical personnel treating him.
 
“The medical doctor told me the deceased had pain in the hip. I was not in school on November 21 and 22, 2021. As a principal, I work with different competent people.
 
“I did not see the deceased on those two days because I was not given a report on him immediately and his case was not critical,” she said.
 
Following Layiwola’s evidence, counsel for Dowen College, Anthony Kpokpo, informed the court that the principal was the last witness from the school.
 
The coroner adjourned proceedings until March 7 for the continuation of the hearing.

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