Clement Vhriterhire, a consultant pathologist at the Central Hospital, Warri, Delta, says there was no evidence of chemical poisoning in Sylvester Oromoni Jnr., the late Dowen College student.
The pathologist, who carried out the first autopsy on Sylvester, testified during the continuation of the coroner’s inquiry into his death on Monday.
While responding to questions from Mikhail Kadiri, the coroner, he said there was no proof of chemical intoxication when he conducted the first autopsy on December 2, 2021 — contrary to social media reports.
The pathologist also said his findings showed that Oromoni died from acute inflammatory pneumonia due to severe sepsis.
“This is the final autopsy report that I issued. After I had settled down and reviewed my microscopic slide, in light of nothing significant from the toxicology, I married everything together,” he said.
“In the absence of chemical intoxication, and different organs were showing inflammatory processes, I came about acute inflammatory pneumonia due to severe sepsis. This is my final report.”
The witness had earlier told the court that he was served a paper by the police on December 2, to carry out an autopsy, which was conducted at Safe Haven Medicaid, Warri.
Vhriterhire said prior to conducting the autopsy, he was informed that Oromoni was beaten to death and that, upon viewing the body, he did not see any open injury suggesting the deceased was beaten.
He told the inquest that the father of the deceased had provided his medical history.
“He told me the deceased was allegedly beaten which led to his death. That was the initial information before I touched the body,” the pathologist said.
“After that, I opened the body appropriately. I expected to see certain things on the deceased body based on the information I was given but I did not see any open injury that suggested that he was beaten.
“The only thing external was bruises and scalding of the lips. I was expecting internal bleeding, which may be a rupture of the internal organ but I saw none.
“At this point, I informed the member of the family that I didn’t see any evidence the deceased was beaten.
“They called the father and told me that in the process of being beaten, the deceased was given a poisonous substance to drink.”
Vhriterhire further said he saw a chocolate-coloured material mixed with blood after he opened up the deceased and took the samples for toxicology.
“I opened the stomach based on what I saw, there was a chocolate colour material mixed with mucus. I considered toxicology the only way I could know what the substance meant,” he said.
“I took some samples, blood from the heart, piece of liver, for toxicology. I also took a piece from the tongue and most organs of the body and processed them.”
He added that towards the end of the week, he received a call from the police in Lagos that the father of the deceased had formally made a complaint and would like another autopsy to be carried out in Lagos.
“On that Sunday afternoon, I had to rush to the office and checked the microscopic slide to write out the report,” he added.
“I found out that the blood vessel was not clearly healthy under the microscope.
“I also discovered acute lung injury, added with the story that the deceased was beaten, I came about the interim report while still waiting for toxicology to validate.”
The witness, moreover, told the court that he was 100 percent in agreement with the second autopsy report, conducted by Sokunle Soyemi, the acting chief medical examiner of Lagos state.
“I was at the second autopsy in Lagos as an observer because the father of the deceased informed me to be present all through,” he said.
“I did not have anything in my mind that will make me think nothing was wrong with the second autopsy as I agree 100 percent with the result,” he said.
The coroner adjourned proceedings to March 14 for the continuation of the hearing.
Earlier, Aghoho Owhojede, doctor to the Oromoni family, had also stated that there was no evidence to establish the 12-year-old consumed any chemical substance.
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