Oromoni’s Inquest: No Request To Test Black Substance Found On Deceased

A Lagos-based Forensic Toxicologist, Mr Benedict Agbor, has told a Coroner Inquest in Ikeja Magistrate Court that he did not receive a request to test the blackish substance found on the late 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.

The blackish substance was found in the second autopsy conducted by a pathologist, Sokunle Soyemi with the Lagos State Teaching University Hospital (LASUTH).

It was believed to have contained the chemical intoxication allegedly forced down the throat of the schoolboy by some senior pupils at Dowen College that led to his death.

While being cross-examined by counsel to the Oromoni’s family, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), the witness said that the black substance which was found in the intestines of the deceased during the autopsy, was not given to him for examination.

“No, I did not get any request. I did not carry out test on the blackish substance” he said.

Mr. Agbor, who had worked with the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) for 25 years noted that he was contacted by the police Area Commander in Warri, Delta State that an autopsy was going to be done on the deceased.

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He said after the autopsy was carried out, he discussed it with the pathologist in the state, Dr. Clement Vhriterhire and received some samples for chemical analysis.

The witness said the samples sent to him were tagged: A (containing cake dark brown labelled heart blood), B (containing greyish liquid substance labelled stomach content), C (sample note containing greyish brown mass of flesh labelled liver), a sample bottle containing light reddish coloured liquid labelled fluid from the eye).

Mr Agbor, who affirmed he was the one who suggested to the pathologist in Warri what to send to him, said he carried out the physical examination at the microscopic level.

He said it was normal to use clotted blood for toxicology when he was asked by Mr. Falana.

The witness said that the police laboratory in Alagbon which was commissioned in 1997, is a functional laboratory for toxicology.

He said that he would have to go back and take stock when the counsel asked about the the condition of the equipment from November 2021till date.

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Mr. Agbor, who said there was equipment for testing poisons, stressed that the functionality of a toxicology laboratory does not depend on the equipment but on the expertise.

“I used solvent and solid extraction procedures in testing the samples,”

“You will agree with me therefore that if the biochemical assay has not been carried out, you cannot conclusively say that your report is final? Falana asked.

” No, I can not say that because a biochemical assay is to know if the liver, heart and other vital organs were functioning very well before the cessation of life.,” the witness said.

The Coroner, Mr Mikhail Kadiri, adjourned proceedings until April 11 for continuation of hearing.

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It was alleged by the Oromoni family that the 12-year-old student died on Nov. 30, 2021, from injuries sustained in an attack by five senior students of Dowen College for refusing to join a cult.

It was also alleged that he was forced to drink a substance by his attackers.

Advice by the Lagos State DPP released on Jan. 4, however, disputed the allegations.

It stated that an autopsy revealed the cause of the student’s death as acute bacterial pneumonia due to severe sepsis.

Wahab Akinlade

Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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