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Sylvester Oromoni: Interim DPP Advice Indicted Dowen College Staff- Police Tells Coroner Inquest

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The Coroner inquest into the controversial death of a 12-year-old student of the Dowen College student, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, continued on Monday, February 21, with a Chief Superintendent of Police, (CSP) Bamidele Olusegun, stating that some members of staff of Dowen College were indicted in the first legal advice issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Lagos State.

Channels TV reports that CSP Olusegun informed the court presided by Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri that he received a report from the DPP dated December 30, 2021, which was called interim legal advice recommended that the staff should be prosecuted for alleged negligence.

CSP Olusegun, who said he was serving with the homicide section of the Lagos State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti section in 2021 disclosed this while being cross-examined by Femi Falana, SAN.

Reading part of the interim report dated December 30, 2021, the witness said:

“There are facts that the students made series of reports of acts of bullying and intimidation against them to the teachers and house parents whose duties were to protect the children under their care.”

Facts further reveal that most of the statements and reports were not seriously attended to but disregarded by the house parents. No punitive measures were imposed beyond the suspension of known bullies in the school.

The school does not have an adequate policy for addressing issues of bullying, stalking, and unacceptable behaviour by the seniors against the junior students.

The office intends to prosecute Mrs Celina Uduak, Valentine Igboekweze, Hammed Ayomo Bariyu, Adesanya Olusegun and Mr. Adeyemi and Dowen College, Lagos for the offence of Negligent Acts causing harm under Section 252 Criminal Law of Lagos 2015”

The witness who narrated to the court the various steps he took to investigate the matter, also confirmed that under cross-examination, the police were initially shocked by the decision of the magistrate court to grant bail to the Dowen staff and the five suspected students.

Falana asked “Are you aware that there was a protest by the police to the Chief Judge that they were not allowed to conclude investigation?”

Yes, the witness replied.

“You did say that at the time the suspects were granted bail, you had just got intelligence report and statements from the suspects, and this came as a rude shock to the police that the investigation was not allowed to be carried out?” Falana asked.

Yes, the witness answered.

Falana: After this protest, were the suspects brought back for further interrogation?

No, the witness replied.

Falana: During investigations, one of the students told you that the deceased was bullied?

To which the witness replied, Yes.

“Did any of the witnesses tell you that the deceased was taken to the third floor of the school and tortured? Falana asked.

Witness: The claim wasn’t substantiated but yes, I was told.

Falana: Did any of the witnesses tell you that the deceased was injured on the 14th of November?

Witness: I can’t remember.

At this point, the witness was confronted with the statement of a student who wrote “Sylvester Oromoni played football on Sunday, November 14, he was dragging his leg because he had an injury and on Monday, November 15, he didn’t attend class but was in the sickbay.”

The CSP was also confronted with the statement of another student and was asked, “Is he the one who told you that the deceased was taken to the third floor where he was subjected to torture?”

Yes, came the reply.

The witness was then asked to read to the hearing of court, some of the conclusions from the police report dated December 23, 2021.

“It is evidently clear that some group of students constitute themselves into a clique that bullies and intimidates fellow students in the school”he said

When asked to mention the students who formed the clique, the witness noted that his report mentioned Michael Kashamu and Edward Bague who were earlier reprimanded for bullying other students. He was, however, quick to say that there was nothing to link them to the Oromoni case.

The CSP was also asked whether he invited a journalist, Kemi Olunloyo, to shed more light on her report, carried out in the cause of the investigation, a report which suggests that the deceased, late Sylvester Oromoni wanted to join a secret cult and in the cause of doing this, was given a concoction to drink?

Yes, we invited her, the witness replied

Falana: What’s your finding as per the letter?

Witness: She didn’t come.

Proceedings came to an end at this point after some other lawyers in the matter complained that the interim legal advice and the police letter to the journalist had not been front-loaded to them.

Counsel to Dowen College, Anthony Kpokpo said:

“It has become part of the deceased family’s style to present documents that have not been front-loaded. We will not be able to continue with the cross-examination as a result of the surprises being pulled on us. This is regrettable.”

Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri has adjourned further proceedings till Tuesday, February 22.

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Why NLC, TUC Must Protect Nigeria’s Democracy – Obasa

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The survival of Nigeria’s democracy should be a key focus of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliates, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has said.

Dr. Obasa gave the charge Thursday at the 2022 Independence Day Anniversary Lecture with the theme ‘Nigeria in search for an enduring political structure: imperative of structural reform’ held at the NLC Ogun State headquarters.

According to him, Nigeria can only advance positively if the various unions and individuals play roles to keep the country’s democracy thriving.

The Speaker, who was chairman of the event, said that the country is seen as practising democracy because there are legislative arms of government in place both at the national and sub-national levels.

He, however, lamented the attempts by some individuals in position of authority to ‘pocket’ these lawmaking arms of States citing how, in some instances, principal officers of Houses of Assembly are removed at the whims and caprices of single individuals in authority.

“It is hightime we all rose to protect Nigeria’s political institution, the parliament. We have seen cases where the civil society looked away while democracy faces danger from some individuals.

“We have seen cases where the parliament was closed and where a governor carried inauguration of legislature by midnight.

“When you have a legislature that is answerable to a single person, you can’t progress or meet collective goals or say we are practising democracy. We have heard of a state that already has four Speakers in less than four years.

“It is also surprising that even among the elite, you find that there are some people who do not know their representatives at the parliament. Yet, these parliamentarians make the laws that guide their activities and actions.

“As a union, our concern should not be about where we work, our salaries and welfare alone; we should also protect our institutions. I am not saying you should be partisan, but at least, play a role in guiding our democracy.

“In that way, it would be difficult for individuals to determine how the parliament, which is the true symbol of democracy, should operate,” Obasa said.

In his short remark, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, noted that Nigeria simply practises civil rule and not democracy.

“If you have a vibrant legislature, you have democracy,” he said.

In his address, Comrade Abinbola Bankole, chairman of the NLC in Ogun State, said though Nigeria faces many challenges, “as a labour movement, it is our considered opinion that blame-game shall take us nowhere as a people.”

He said if Nigeria must work, citizens must be interested in how their country is governed.

Guest lecturer at the event, Chief Mike Ozekhomhe (SAN), noted that the problems with Nigeria are fundamental and systemic. He suggested a new constitution for the country.

“No president who rules Nigeria will do well. Until we do serious structural adjustment or realignments, none of those who would rule Nigeria can make any spectacular difference,” Ozekhomhe said while expressing optimism that Nigeria will be successful again.

On his part, Nafiu Aiyedun, Ogun State Head of Service, who represented Governor Dapo Abiodun, promised that the government would continue to focus on the welfare of workers.

 

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Soludo reacts to killing of soldiers in Anambra, assures arrest of perpetrators

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Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo has decried Wednesday’s deadly attack on personnel of the Nigerian Army.

JOMOGNEWS NIGERIA had reported how the so-called ‘Unknown Gunmen’ terrorising Anambra State and major parts of Nigeria’s southeast region attacked and killed five soldiers in Orumba South Local Government Area (LGA).

Among the causalities is a civilian.

According to the governor, from this point on, “these people must surely pay for this heinous and repulsive attack”.

“We condemn this wicked and cruel attack in the strongest terms. The perpetrators of this act must pay,” Prof. Soludo said, as quoted in a statement signed by Christian Aburime, his spokesman.

“We are not going to rest on our oars, including those people that attacked Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and the rest. There will be absolutely no hiding place for them,” Soludo added.

“Going forward, our actions will show, as these people must surely pay for this heinous and repulsive attack.”

 

 

 

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Over 20 Persons Burnt To Death As Explosion Rocks Kogi

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No fewer than 20 persons were burnt to death on a bridge at Maboro River, in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State, on Wednesday in an explosion of a petrol-laden tanker.

The incident occurred when the tanker lost control and fell on the bridge at about 3.30pm on Wednesday.

Kogi State FRSC Sector Commander, Stephen Dawulung, who confirmed the incident, said the casualty could not be ascertained as at press time.

“‘My boys are there, putting the pieces together. We don’t know the number of dead yet. A tanker, two buses and two motorcycles were involved”, he said.

A resident of the area, Usman Ahmed, who witnessed the unfortunate incident, told Daily Trust that several persons were in the river when the tanker exploded.

He said, “Nobody knows the number of dead people now. Many People were in the river doing one thing or the other when the tanker lost control, fell and exploded on the bridge”.

 

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