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Oromoni Family Cries Out Over ‘Delay Tactics’ in Coroner Inquest, Blames NBA Representative

The family of Sylvester Oromoni has alleged “delay tactics” in the inquiry into the student’s death.

Oromoni, who was a pupil of Dowen College Lagos, died in November 2021 after he was alleged to have been bullied and beaten by five of his colleagues.

His father had claimed he was attacked and fed a chemical.

Dowen College dismissed this, insisting that the boy sustained injuries playing football with his friends.

The first autopsy initially declared that Oromoni died of “acute lung injury due to chemical intoxication” but it was subsequently discredited in favour of the counterclaim that only the bereaved’s family witnessed the autopsy.

Following a probe by the Lagos police, the department of public prosecution (DPP), backed by the results of a second autopsy at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH, declared that Oromoni died “naturally”.

The case has been under a coroner’s inquiry, with the bereaved vowing to pursue the matter up to the apex court.

Sylvester Oromoni (Snr), the father of the deceased, spoke to journalists in Warri, issuing a statement on Sunday.

He accused Bernard Onigah, a representative of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), of “creating confusion at every sitting to ensure that the coroner never arrived at a conclusion to make its final report based on the findings.”

Oromoni (Snr.) urged the NBA to withdraw Onigah from the sitting to allow the coroner to carry out its duties.

He said the family would not relent on its quest for justice “even if it’s going to take another three decades”.

“Some party in the case have resulted to using Bernard Onigah to buy time by causing confusion and unnecessary set back at every [one] of its sittings, in order to delay its report and thereby frustrating the family,” Oromoni said.

“We hereby urge the leadership of the NBA to immediately withdraw its representative, Bernard Onigah, from the coroner, in order to assist in making the court draw conclusions based on findings.

“I wish to state categorically that the failure of NBA leadership to withdraw Bernard Onigah from the panel after this passionate appeal would be interpreted as complicity on the part of its leadership.

“NBA representatives were supposed to play an observer role in the inquest proceedings but the said Bernard Onigah has assumed the role of a defence counsel in the case by raising issues that tend to frustrate proceeding.”

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