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A medical doctor working at Dowen College, Lagos, Mojisola Bisiriyu, has contradicted the claim by the school that the late Sylvester Oromoni sustained a leg injury.
On Tuesday, the doctor testified as the 8th witness in the coroner’s inquest to unravel the circumstances behind the death of the 12-year-old pupil of the school.
The father of the deceased had alleged that his child was beaten by some senior students and forced to drink a liquid substance, which killed him.
But the school denied the claim, alleging instead that he sustained leg injuries while playing football with his mates.
But in her testimony before Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri, and while answering questions from the counsel for the Oromoni family, Femi Falana (SAN), the doctor said she didn’t notice any visible leg injury and that the deceased did not complain of any.
Bisiriyu said Oromoni only complained of a hip and not a leg injury when he presented himself at the school’s sickbay on November 21, 2021.
The doctor said: “As the school doctor, my duty is to take care of students in the school and for whatever we see that demands attention, we usually call the parents.
“I saw the deceased on November 22, 2021, he came in with pain on his right side and that was what I saw him for. He came in with a limp and no other complaints.
“I spoke with the deceased’s mother, Mrs Oromoni, about his health status and she said his guardian will be coming to pick him up the next day. I didn’t refer him to our partner hospital, Lifeline Children’s Hospital in Lekki because his case was not considered an emergency.
“He told me he fell down while trying to pick (up) his Bible and it was an injury to his hip. It was after much cajoling that he said he played football. We applied pain reliever and massaged the part he complained about.”
When Falana asked if she was aware that the deceased could barely walk and had to be carried to the car by his guardian on November 23, the doctor said, “He was assisted out of the sickbay,” adding that she also advised his guardian to take him to the hospital.
However, when Falana asked if she gave the guardian a referral letter to a hospital, the school’s lawyer, Anthony Kpokpo objected to the line of questioning, arguing that the issue of a referral note should not arise because the doctor does not work in a hospital.
Falana further asked, “By your assessment, does the deceased’s health status warrant you taking him to the hospital?” The doctor’s response was no.
“But it warrants you asking the parents to take him to the hospital?” Mr Falana asked. To which the doctor answered, yes.
Referring to the pathologist who had earlier testified in the matter, Falana asked, “A medical expert, Dr Soyemi told the coroner that all the deceased needed was a dose of antibiotics which would have prevented the unfortunate incident? Do you agree?”
“I cannot answer the question,” the doctor said.
“Why didn’t you apply antibiotics?” The lawyer asked.
The doctor replied, “There was no fever, nothing. You don’t just admit antibiotics. We are not a hospital or a lab. We did not run tests. The complaint was pain in the hip.”
“Do you know whether he was suffering from any disease?” Falana also asked.
“None that I’m aware of,” the doctor replied.
“Are you aware that the deceased was taken home over a twisted tongue in March?” Falana asked.
The doctor said she was not aware.
She also testified that even though the deceased still had pains, his lips were not scalding or peeling at the time he was taken away from the school.