Family Doctor, Parent Responsible for Sylvester Oromoni’s Death – Coroner


A Lagos Coroner has ruled that a 12 year old student of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr.) who died in November 2021 under controversial circumstances suffered “avoidable excruciating pain” due to parental and medical negligence, which led to his “needless” death.

The Magistrate, Mikhail Kadiri revealed this while delivering his findings which lasted for more than six hours.

During the pendency of the Coroner, 32 witnesses in all testified which started sitting in January 2022.

Among the evidence the coroner relied on include: 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, Lagos, where about ten pathologists representing various parties including the family, Lagos state government and Dowen College took part in.

They all agreed that, “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,”

“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.”

Dr Sunday Soyemi, who led the Lagos procedure has stated 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.

From the evidence, Sylvester was said to have sustained an injury on his ankle between November 20 and 21, 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, and treated at home by the family doctor, Henry Aghogho.

The family doctor, Henry Aghogho was also slammed for not providing the required duty of care for the patient whose home care treatment was “trivialized”. 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 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 was 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 also recommended that parents should not take their children’s health with levity, as well as better synergy between police and medical team in such matters.

He also called for proper psychological evaluation for the 5 students suspected to have bullied the deceased