A medical doctor Aghogho Owhojede on Tuesday said that the late Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old student of Dowen College, was not taken to a hospital for treatment.
Owhojede, who has been the Oromoni family doctor for 15 years, offered the shocking revelation in his testimony before an Ikeja Coroner’s Court.
The coroner seeks to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of the student on Nov. 30, 2021.
Owhojede was questioned during Tuesday’s proceedings for over seven hours (9.30am to 5.15 p.m.) by counsel to Dowen College, two accused students of the school, Lagos State Government and Nigerian Bar Association.
During proceedings, the medical doctor said that he treated the late Oromoni for acute malaria at the family home in Warri, Delta, from Nov. 26, 2021, to Nov. 30, 2021.
Answering questions from Mr Akin George, counsel to Lagos State Government, Owhojede said that he attended the same church, God’s Grace Ministry International Church, with the Oromoni family.
The doctor told the court that ailing Oromoni was taken to church for prayers for an unspecified number of days by his family.
“What was your response to the treatment at a church as opposed to a proper medical facility?” George asked.
“I am aware that the church is not a treatment centre. I am not against prayer, I will prefer a combination of both prayer and medical treatment,” the doctor replied.
The doctor said that on the day Oromoni died, Nov. 30, 2021, he had referred him to Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, for further treatment.
He said that the late Oromoni could not be taken to the teaching hospital because his condition deteriorated and he passed away.
“Which hospital was he ever taken to before he died?” George asked.
“He was treated at home,” the doctor responded.
“Can you confirm that the deceased was not taken to any hospital for treatment?” George further asked.
“No, he wasn’t, my lord,” Owhojede said.
The Coroner, Mr Mikhail Kadiri, adjourned proceedings until Feb. 7 for continuation of hearing.
The 12-year-old Oromoni was alleged to have died on Nov. 30, 2021, from injuries sustained in an attack by five senior students of Dowen College, for allegedly refusing to join a cult.
It was also alleged that he was forced to drink a poisonous substance by his attackers.
Advice by Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution, which was released on Jan. 4, however, disputed the allegations.
According to the advice, two separate autopsies revealed Oromoni’s cause of death as acute bacterial pneumonia due to severe sepsis.