The family confirmed that their son was named among the suspected bullies of the deceased, and further called for calm while expressing support for the ongoing investigation into the matter.
In a lenghty statement issued by one Mutairu Kashamu and obtained by Sahara Reporters, the family 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.”
The late Senator Buruji Kashamu represented Ogun East in the eighth National Assembly.