The family of deceased 12-year-old Junior Secondary School (class two) student of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos State, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, who was purportedly tortured to death by some senior students that wanted him initiated into a cult group, has raised the alarm that plots of delay tactics at coroner inquest are being hatched in some quarters to frustrate the family at seeking justice for their late son.
While appealing to Nigerians to keep faith with the family in the determination to secure justice for their deceased son, the Oromoni family indicted the representative of the Nigerian Bar Association in the court proceedings, one Bernard Onigah, who it claimed was being used to create confusion at every court sitting “just to ensure that the coroner never arrived at a conclusion to make its final report, based on findings and substantial evidence at its disposal.”
The deceased father, Mr. Stylvester Oromoni, who spoke with newsmen in Warri on Saturday, urged the leadership of the NBA to withdraw Onigah from the court proceedings “in order to allow the coroner to carry out its job diligently, so as to arrive at a conclusion in bringing out its report on the matter early enough.”
The family claimed that any attempt by the NBA leadership to continue to keep the person of Bernard Onigah, as its representative in the court, would be interpreted as complicity on the part of the body to frustrate the coroner proceedings, thereby prolonging its sittings in order to deny the family the justice craved over their son’s death.
While assuring that no amount of frustrations could make the family abandon the cause of justice for their son, Oromoni noted that “the family was determined to seek justice even if it’s going to take them another three decades.”
He said, “From the events of the past few weeks at the Coroner Inquest, we can draw a conclusion that some party in the case have resorted to using one Bernard Onigah, a representative of the Nigerian Bar Association in the matter, to buy more time by causing confusion and unnecessary set back at every of its sittings in order to delay its report and thereby frustrating the family.
“We, the members of the Oromoni family, hereby urge the leadership of the NBA to immediately withdraw its representative, Bernard Onigah from the coroner in order to assist in making the court draw conclusions based on findings and present its report appropriately.
“We wish to state categorically that failure of the NBA leadership to withdraw Bernard Onigah, from the panel after this passionate appeal would be interpreted as complicity on the part of its leadership to continue to frustrate the court proceedings through its representative, who had been causing confusion and dragging the court back.
“We are not unmindful of the fact that the NBA representatives just like other bodies were supposed to play an observer role in the inquest proceedings, but to our greatest surprise, the said Onigah has assumed the role of a defence counsel in the case by raising issues that tend to frustrate proceeding in order to buy time before the coroner.
“However, we want to appeal to Nigerians to keep the faith alive with the Oromini family and wish to thank everyone who stood by us during our trying period last year December when we lost our dear promising son, Sylvester Oromini Jnr, to the cold hand of death as a result of complications from the torture he received while in school.
“We assure everyone that we will continue to remain focused on the case and no amount of plots to frustrate or discourage us would succeed, as we are determined more than ever before to get justice for our late son even if it would take us another 30 years to achieve this, we are prepared.”