Adebisi Layiwola, principal of Dowen College, says she did not ask suspected bullies of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, the late 12-year-old pupil of the school, if they gave him any substance.
Oromoni died in November last year. The cause of his death has continued to trigger controversies.
The boy’s father had alleged that he died from injuries he sustained in an attack by five senior students for refusing to join a cult.
He also claimed the late student was forced to drink a harmful substance by his attackers.
The school, however, dismissed both allegations and claimed the student only sustained injury while playing football.
NAN reports that Layiwola wept before an Ikeja coroner’s court on Tuesday while narrating how Oromoni’s death was relayed to her.
Layiwola told the court that she got the news of the student’s death while in the process of investigating an allegation that the deceased was bullied by some senior students.
“When the uncle of the deceased came to the school, we were still in the process of the investigation,” she said.
“He received a call from the sister of the deceased in my presence, that the deceased’s case had taken a bad turn. It was not long, he received another call that the boy had passed on.”
At this point in her testimony, the Dowen College principal broke down in tears and the coroner ordered a 10-minute break.
During cross-examination by Femi Falana, counsel to the Oromoni family, the principal also told the court that there was no cult in the school .
“On the cult allegation, there is no cult in the school. In October, I was informed that the deceased was told to describe the nudity of his sister by some students,” she added.
“We called the students who were involved but we did not really talk to them about being in a cult. We spoke to them on the issue of bullying.”
When Falana inquired if she asked the students whether they gave the deceased a substance to drink, she replied: “I did not ask them.”
When Falana also asked: “Would you be surprised that a black substance was found in the deceased body?, she responded “I would not be surprised because I am not a pathologist.”
Falana further enquired if the witness was aware that some parents had withdrawn their children from the school because of bullying allegations.
“No. I cannot remember,” she said.
After Layiwola’s testimony, Anthony Kpokpo, counsel to Dowen College, informed the court that the principal was the last witness from the school.
Mikhail Kadiri, the coroner, then adjourned proceedings until March 7 for continuation of hearing.
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