A Forensic Pathologist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Dr Uwom Eze, says he agrees with the results of two autopsies carried out on a 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lagos, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the first autopsy was carried out by a pathologist at the Central Hospital, Warri, Delta, Dr Clement Vhriterhire, while the second and final one was carried out by the Acting Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State, Dr Sokunle Soyemi.
Eze was an observer at the second autopsy.
Eze, who had carried out more than 1000 post-mortem exercises, said that he believed and agreed with the reports of the two pathologists.
Testifying on Monday before an Ikeja Coroner’s Court, Eze said that the second autopsy started late due to logistics issues.
The coroner’s inquest is to unravel the circumstances surrounding the student’s death.
Eze was responding to questions from counsel to the Oromoni family, Mr A. E. Efole.
“I believe in the final report of the first autopsy which was carried out in Warri and I also agree with the findings of the Lagos State pathologist.
“I got to the venue of the autopsy at 9.00 a.m. but the exercise started at 5.00 p.m. due to logistics delays, as it was important to carry out a full body ex-ray on the deceased.
“In order to do so, we had to wait for the hospital to carry out x-ray on the patients it had on ground before it could attend to the deceased’s body,” he testified.
The pathologist said that he was not aware if videos and pictures he took captured any black substance in the intestine of the deceased.
“I rely on the toxicology report, and nothing poisonous was detected by the report,” the witness said.
“Efole asked: As an expert who has done over 1000 post-mortem experiences, did you confirm the cause of death of the deceased through physical examination?
Eze replied: “There is a difference between physical examination and clinical examination of patients.
“Physical examination is the head-to-toe examination of patients when they visit hospitals.
“Clinical is clinic while laboratory examination takes place in the lab and samples of blood and urine are taken.”
“Efole asked: “In your opinion, if a patient is given a poisonous substance, can such poison be known by mere physical examination?
Eze replied: Yes, in certain circumstances, but you can suspect the case of a dead person.
“The ankle injury I saw in the second autopsy was an infective injury which can lead to sepsis.
“In some circumstances, we do take clotted blood from the heart for toxicology analysis.”
The counsel asked the witness if he agreed with him that the deceased would still be alive if the school had taken proper steps at the initial stage.
The witness said, “My lord, I am unable to answer that because I do not know the clinical stage.”
The witness said it was not a usual practice for a pathologist, who was an observer, to speak publicly on an autopsy he witnessed.
The coroner adjourned proceedings until April 5 for continuation of hearing.
NAN reports that 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. (Guardian)