Home Politics Oromoni: Lagos coroner blames death on doctor, parents’ negligence

Oromoni: Lagos coroner blames death on doctor, parents’ negligence

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Two years after the commencement of a coroner inquest into the death of a 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, Sylvester Junior Oromoni, the magistrate has attributed his death to natural occurrence.

He also blamed the death on the parents’ and doctor’s negligence.

Mikhail Kadri, a magistrate, sitting in Ogba, while reading his report, which lasted for several hours on Monday, said that Mr Oromoni died as a result of failed treatment for his enlarged liver.

The inquest magistrate, who was emotional while reading his findings, noted that Mr Oromoni’s death was caused by Septicaemia, a life-threatening health condition, caused by a patient’s body’s response to an infection, following infections of the lungs and kidneys arising from the ankle wound.

He held that, “No evidence of blunt force trauma in this body. The findings in the oesophagus and stomach are not compatible with chemical intoxication. Death, in this case, is natural.”

Late Sylvester-Oromoni Jnr before his death
Late Sylvester-Oromoni Jnr before his death

Recall that the 12-year-old student of Dowen College reportedly died on 30 November 2021.

Initially, his death was attributed to bullying and an alleged substance he was forced to drink in the school.

He reportedly said he was beaten up by five senior students of the College whose names were Favour Benjamin (16), Edward Begue (16), Ansel Temile (14), Kenneth Inyang and Micheal Kashamu (16), son of late Senator Buruji Kashamu.

But on 5 January 2022, the Lagos State Government exonerated the five students and five employees of Dowen College, who were accused of contributing to the death of Mr Oromoni.

In his judgement, Mr Kadiri said, “Based on the foregoing, it is clear that the deceased health deteriorated in doctor’s (PW 3) care.”

The coroner magistrate held that PW 3 did not take proper care of the deceased, and completely abandoned the deceased for a period of more than 32 hours.

“The deceased’s death was an avoidable one but for the negligence of the parents and PW 3. They did not take him to the hospital until the day he died on 30 November 2021. The deceased went through an avoidable and excruciating pain and was made to suffer needlessly,” he noted.

During the coroner inquest, 32 witnesses testified.

Among the evidence the coroner relied on included the findings of two autopsies conducted on the deceased at the Central Hospital, Warri, Delta State, with only the family present, and at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) where about 10 pathologists representing various parties including the family, Lagos State Government and Dowen College, took part.

Sunday Soyemi, a medical doctor, who led the Lagos procedure, disclosed in the autopsy report that sepsis, which led to the death of the boy, could have been treated with “massive doses of intravenous antibiotic, intravenous fluid and blood transfusion,” but which was never done.

According to him, from the evidence, Mr Oromoni was said to have sustained an injury on his ankle between 20 and 21 November.

“Following first aid treatment, the school contacted his parents to come and pick him up for further treatment. A guardian was sent to the school who took him for an X-ray, but no fracture was detected.

“But he wasn’t taken to a hospital for care in Lagos until days later when he was moved to his base in Warri, Delta State and treated at home by the family doctor, Henry Aghogho,” Mr Soyemi said.

The family doctor, Henry Aghogho was also blamed for not providing the required care for the patient whose home care treatment was “trivialised.”

Despite early diagnosis, the doctor was found to have abandoned the deceased for more than 32 hours and didn’t carry out an X-ray and scan early enough, which would have revealed his deteriorating condition.

The coroner, who broke down in tears several times while reading his findings and even rose at a point to comport himself, said the case was touching but needed objectivity.

He exonerated the school of negligence and the five senior students who were accused of bullying the deceased and administering a poisonous substance on him.

“The alleged suspects played no part in Sylvester’s death, but were victims of their past misdeeds. They were falsely accused; no staff of Dowen College played any role in the death. The school has improved on their facilities since the incident. The claims of chemical intoxication were never proven, and the faces of those allegedly bullying the deceased weren’t seen. The alleged confession of Sylvester was denied by several witnesses. Even if he was beaten, it didn’t lead to his death,” the coroner said.

The coroner recommended that parents should not take their children’s health with levity, as well as better synergy between police and the medical team in such matters.

He also called for proper psychological evaluation of the five students suspected to have bullied the deceased.

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