The Lagos State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, has revealed that three students of Dowen College, Lagos, are currently helping the police in their investigation into the death of 11-year-old Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr).
The police boss made this disclosure during an interview with Channels TV this morning. The commissioner said three of the five students mentioned by Sylvester before he died are already in custody and cooperating with the police in their findings.
Although Odumosu did not give the identities of those in custody, he insisted that they are key suspects.
He further explained that the Command is set to go for the post mortem of the body in Delta state to ascertain the cause of death.
He assured that police authorities in both Lagos and Delta State are keenly interested in the outcome of the investigation to unravel the mystery behind Sylvester’s death.
A few minutes ago, reports making rounds revealed that two additional students of Dowen college have been arrested and detained by the Lagos State Police Command over their alleged involvement in the torture and death of Sylvester. This is according to a report by TVC.
This brings the total number of students in Police custody to five. Police say they have obtained a court order to detain the students for 21 days at the Juvenile centre.
Sylvester, who was 11 and would have turned 12 on December 4, died on Tuesday, November 30 after he was allegedly attacked by some of his seniors in school who had allegedly subjected him to constant bullying for refusing to join their cult.
Meanwhile, two of the parents of the accused students have come out to say their children are not responsible for the death of Sylvester.
In a statement issued by one Mutairu Kashamu and obtained by Sahara Reporters, the family of Michael Adewale Kashamu, one of the students mentioned, noted that Michael ceased to be the “school father” of the deceased before he was reportedly tortured and left with injuries.
The statement titled “Dowen College Student’s Death: Kashamu’s Family Empathizes With The Bereaved…Calls For Thorough Investigation”, read;
“The Kashamu family has been inundated with enquiries, calls and messages over the unfortunate incident at Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, which led to the untimely death of Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old student of the College.
“While we empathize and commiserate with the family of the late Sylvester Oromoni over the irreplaceable loss, we wish to appeal to all and sundry to hold their horses until the Police and the Lagos State government have completed their independent investigations and established the truth.
“Most commentators have rushed to conclusions based on assumptions and false information, including the allegation that our son Adewale Michael Kashamu was in any way involved in the bullying or beating of Sylvester Oromoni.
”Since the news of the unfortunate incident broke, we have made our own private enquiries and carefully questioned our son about his involvement. This is why we did not rush out to respond to the cyber-stalking, name-calling and negative commentaries that have taken over the social media about our son’s alleged involvement in this sad incident.
”Some of the true facts now slowly emerging from under the mass of lies are that: Our son, Adewale Michael Kashamu, had acted as a school father for the late Sylvester in his first session in the school at the request of Sylvester’s sister who is also a student of the school.
“However, in the 2021 session commencing in September 2021 Adewale Michael Kashamu was moved to a different floor in the boarding house and engrossed in his own studies and activities, he was no longer as close to Sylvester as in the previous session.
”Adewale Michael Kashamu is a compassionate and considerate boy. Sometime last session, some boys had been accused of beating Sylvester with belts and seizing his foodstuff but Adewale Michael Kashamu was not involved at all. He was in fact in sympathy with Sylvester over that incident.
“On that occasion, Sylvester’s parents made a report to the school and the affected students were questioned and one of them at least was suspended.
“Adewale Michael Kashamu is not aware that an identical incident occurred again this year leading to Sylvester’s injury and death.
“Adewale Michael Kashamu had seen Sylvester limping sometime late in November and (assuming he might have been injured playing football) merely empathized with him and advised him to go to the school clinic.
”Other students who knew the circumstances of Sylvester’s leg injury have all testified that he was injured whilst playing football.
“Whilst he was in school, Sylvester had no visible injury to his lips or face. Sylvester’s family has admitted that Sylvester’s swollen, blistered and bloody lips (as shown in videos and pictures, now viral on the internet) were reactions to medications given to Sylvester after he had been taken from the school by his parents.
“We feel and can relate to the pains of the Oromoni family and all those genuinely concerned about this unfortunate incident. That is why we wish to express our readiness to cooperate with the parents of the deceased, the Police, the Lagos State government and other relevant stakeholders to get to the root of this matter so that the cause of justice will not only be served but manifestly seen to have been served.
“However, it is regrettable that of the five names that were mentioned in relation to the incident, it is only Kashamu’s name that seems to ring a bell. Consequently, the family and its late patriarch (Senator Buruji Kashamu of blessed memory) have been the butt of irresponsible, falsehood-based and unwarranted attacks even when the full details of the incident are not yet known.
”There is no denying the fact that Adewale Michael Kashamu is one of the children of the late Senator Buruji Kashamu. But, no family or parent will send a child to school to be involved in any form of crime or criminality; just like no parent would be happy to be informed that a child he or she sent to school to learn has been molested or killed under any guise.
”That is why we wish to appeal for restraint on all sides. The cyber-bullying of our family will not help in any way to solve the bullying in schools that society through the ages has desired to stop.
”The larger society should start by setting a higher standard.
“We reckon that the bereaved family has related the account of the incident as narrated by the deceased.
“On our part, we have continued to engage our son, Adewale Michael Kashamu, and he has continued to maintain his innocence.
“Now that the Lagos State government and the Police have waded into the matter, we shall fully cooperate with them so that the truth will be established and the cause of justice served – justice for the deceased and his family, justice for the accused students and their families and justice for the society.
“At this juncture, we want to encourage the management, parents and pupils of Dowen College (and indeed anyone) who may have useful information about this incident to please volunteer same to the Police and the Lagos State government – in the interest of justice.”
Ms Oluchi Sunday, mother of another student mentioned, Edward Brown, denied his involvement in the alleged attack on Sylvester.
Edward’s mum released a statement denying her son’s involvement in the unfortunate incident. According to her, Edward is a day student and wasn’t on the school premises on the day Sylvester was attacked.
Read her statement below…
”It has come to my attention that some individuals caused rumours to be peddled on social media platforms suggesting that my son Edward Brown is one of the students allegedly involved in the beating of the late Sylvester Oromoni Jr at a Dowen College hostel, which resulted in his untimely death.
To set the record straight, I wish to bring the following facts to the public notice, which demonstrate that such rumours are false, malicious and lack any basis whatsoever:
1. My son is a day student and has never been a boarder.
2. Because my son is a day student, he was not on the school premises at the time when the unfortunate incident occurred, precisely on the night of 21st November, 2021, during a weekend and so, could not have been in the hostel as alleged.
3. In a social media post made on 1st November 2021, on the deceased’s elder brother’s Instagram page, “greatoromonii”, five names, including Dowen College were mentioned before the conclusion: “… just know he called your names before he died”. My son’s name was not among those names.
As a result of these false and malicious rumours, my son and I have been under constant attack via social media, with insults and threats being hurled at us daily. This has caused us much emotional distress and mental trauma.
Therefore, on behalf of myself and my son, Edward Brown, I hereby demand that managers of social media and other platforms where the false and libellous rumours are circulating, immediately retract the offending posts and tender a public apology to us.
We commiserate with the Oromini family for the tragic loss of Sylvester Oromini Jr and pray for the repose of his soul.
Ms. Oluchi SUNDAY.”