The father of Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr), the late student of Dowen College, was absent at the latest sitting of a Lagos coroner seeking to unravel the circumstance surrounding the boy’s death.
Earlier, the Oromoni family had lamented the delay by other parties in filing their witness depositions.
The inquest, which was previously being held at the magistrate court in Epe, was moved to the Ikeja high court.
According to NAN, Sylvester Oromoni (Snr), who was also absent during the court’s last sitting, failed to show up at the court alongside the sister of the deceased with whom he was slated to testify.
Giving the reason for their non-appearance, Andrew Efole, counsel for the Oromoni family, informed the inquest that it was due to the ill health of the sister of the deceased.
“The girl who ought to testify is sick. The father who ought to be here is attending to the child who is receiving treatment,” he said.
On the whereabouts of the mother of the deceased and why she could not attend to her ailing child to enable Oromoni to attend proceedings, Efole said: “The mother is not strong now for the things she is going through.”
Earlier during proceedings, Anthony Okpoko, counsel to Dowen College, had expressed dissatisfaction with the interview granted by Oromoni Snr published in the newspapers on the day of proceedings.
Okpoko said the actions of Oromoni Snr were in contravention of an order granted by the coroner’s court restraining all parties from making comments to the press.
The Dowen College counsel, while expressing his unhappiness to the inquest, said Perri Oromoni, another relative of the deceased, has been tweeting in respect of the matter.
“This is a breach,” Okpoko said.
Responding, Mikhail Kadiri, the coroner, threatened to issue a summon on the said relative (Perri Oromoni).
“Why has he single-handedly decided to be the Coroner?” Kadiri queried.
Efole, counsel to the Oromoni family, apologised and promised to bring witnesses on the next hearing date.
Reacting, Akin George, the counsel for the Lagos government, urged the court to apply section 48(10) of the coroner system law.
Section 48(10) states that “any person whose act or conduct contravenes any of the provisions of this law where no penalty is specified, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to (two) two years’ imprisonment.”
Bernard Oniga, the counsel for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), called for stiff sanctions for erring parties who showed disregard and disrespect to the coroner court.
Responding, the coroner told the Oromoni family’s counsel: “On Friday, we made no progress, on Thursday no progress both at your instance.
“I hope this is not a deliberate attempt to cast aspersions on this Inquest and to my personality.”
Kadiri adjourned the inquest to February 1 for the continuation of the hearing.
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