Sunday, September 24, 2023

First autopsy botched, Sylvester Oromoni had ‘generalised infection’: Pathologist

Sokunle Soyemi, a pathologist, said the late Dowen College student had infections of the lungs and liver.

• February 8, 2022
Late Sylvester Oromoni Jnr
Late Sylvester Oromoni Jnr

A pathologist, Sokunle Soyemi, has testified before the Ikeja Coroner’s Court that the first autopsy conducted on the late Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, a student of Dowen College was botched.

Mr Soyemi informed the court that the findings of the autopsy which was initially conducted in Warri, Delta State were not properly documented.

“I observed the first autopsy was not properly done. All the things that were not properly done were documented in my report,” he said while testifying for Lagos State Government at an inquest set up to unravel the cause of the student’s death.

He was led in evidence by Jide Martins, the Director of the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).

Mr Soyemi testified that the body of the late student was brought to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital on December 13, 2021, and he conducted an autopsy on him the following day in the presence of seven other pathologists.

He said the pathologist failed to open the oesophagus and trachea.

“The conclusion in his report was chemical intoxication. For one to be intoxicated with a chemical, that chemical has to pass through the food path.

“If one does not open the food path, one cannot talk about chemical intoxication. The chemical that should be injurious to one should pass through the oesophagus.”

The witness said further that the pathologist who conducted the first autopsy in Warri, Delta, did not look into the lungs of the deceased and also did not detach the heart from the lungs as was the standard practice.

“If he had done that and weighed the lungs, the weight alone would have told him that something was wrong with the lungs. I will say that he did a botched autopsy,” Mr Soyemi argued.

Counsel to the Oromoni family, Femi Falana, however, objected to the evidence of the pathologist.

He said that Mr Soyemi was testifying on a matter (first autopsy report) that had not been tendered before the inquest by the DPP.

“The learned DPP should have tendered the first autopsy report and asked the witness to compare it with his own. It is not his duty to speak on another autopsy report,” Mr Falana said.

Responding, the DPP said that the expert witness was speaking on the state of a body that was before him prior to carrying out a postmortem.

The Coroner, Mikhail Kadiri, in a short ruling, allowed the testimony of the pathologist on the first autopsy.

He said the witness was shedding more light on the autopsy he conducted on late Oromoni particularly the state of the body of the deceased.

Following the ruling, Mr Soyemi revealed his findings to the inquest. He said the late Dowen College student had lobar pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and infection of the liver.

“He also had an infection of the kidney and infection of the right ankle, the soft tissue, and the muscle covering the bone of the ankle.

“Against these findings, his death was ascribed to septicemia, lobar pneumonia with pyelonephritis (infection of the kidney) arising from the pyelonephritis of the right ankle.

“The summary of this is that he had a generalised infection,” Mr Soyemi said.

The matter was adjourned till February 14 for the continuation of the hearing.


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