Emotions were high and tempers rose yesterday at the coroner inquest as those in court watched the video where the late Sylvester Oromoni was writhing in pains, as he was brought out of the vehicle that brought him home.
The video evidence was tendered, while Sylvester Oromoni Senior, father of the late Oromoni junior was testifying in an ongoing inquest to unravel the circumstances leading to the death of the lad, who was a student of Dowen College, before Coroner Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri sitting in Ikeja.
At the resumed proceedings yesterday, sister to the deceased (name withheld) testified while journalists and other family members were asked to go out of the courtroom due to her age and in compliance with the provisions of section 191 of the Child Right Law of Lagos State 2011.
However, the late Oromoni’s father in his testimony; led by counsel to the Oromoni’s, Mr. Andrew Efole, narrated how he called the deceased school mate that stayed in the same hostel with him.
Efole, therefore, tendered a flash drive, which contained two audio conversation of Oromoni’s father with the schoolmate and a video clip together with various documents, which were tendered and admitted as exhibits.
In the video, he could not walk by himself neither could he stand. He was writhing in pains as he was carried like a baby, supported by two people. Later in the video, he was shown wearing only yellow boxers. He cried out as he was touched, saying “ I am serious, it’s paining me, don’t touch me.”
The court was in total silence as Oromoni senior; could not contain the tears dropping from his eyes. He was not alone. Other people in the courtroom wept silently.
Before the video was played, Mr. Godwin Omoaka (SAN) representing one of the accused students told court that they were seeing the documents tendered for the first time.
He said: “The defence counsel did not furnished the other parties with the documents. He also had videos to tender through his witness but we have not had the privilege to view them. It is appropriate that we see this video and watch; otherwise we won’t be able to cross-examine the witness.
“While we do not object to their admissibility, we asked that the video be played in the open court before we begin to examined the witness, otherwise we would be grooving around.”
Also, counsel representing the school, Anthony Kpokpo told the court that Efole ought to have furnished the other side the documents before the proceedings.
“The inescapable conclusion when you do otherwise is that you intend to ambush the other side. My initial thought was to object because the documents were not referred to in the statement on oath, but nonetheless I will not, so that the proceedings would not be delayed.
So also, Mr. Akin George, Deputy Director, Ministry of Justice told the court that they received some of the documents tendered earlier, but didn’t get the video and a box, which the witness had sought to tender.
“We have come a long way and we are too smart to be trapped with that cheap trick. This court has been up and doing. There is need for us to get value for every time that we assemble in this court,” George said.
Later on, audio conversation between Oromoni’s father and father of a JSS 3 student of Dowen College and another audio conversation between the deceased father and a male student was played.
Before Magistrate Kadiri adjourned further hearing, Efole alleged that O.C legal, Yetunde Cardoso was not cooperating to give them the file as requested.
His submission was corroborated by Kpokpo, who said the O.C legal has turned to a stumbling block for them.
The state counsel, therefore, told court that their two witnesses were ready to give evidence but the court adjourned proceedings to February 8, 2022.