The Lagos State Government will on Thursday, March 30, 2023, begin the trial of Chrisland Schools, Opebi, over the death of 12-year-old Whitney Adeniran, a student, who died during its Inter-house sports.
Members of staff of the school to be arraigned before Justice Oyindamola Ogala of a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja, include Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Mrs. Belinda Amao, Nwatu Ugochi Victoria, and Chrisland School Limited.
The defendants are facing a two-count charge bordering on involuntary manslaughter and reckless and negligent acts contrary to Sections 224 & 251 of the Criminal Law, C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State filed by the state.
Whitney Adeniran slumped on February 9, during the School’s Inter-house Sports held at the Agege Sports Stadium.
She was rushed to Agege Central Hospital, Lagos, where she was confirmed as “brought in dead” (BID) by the doctor on duty.
The case was referred to the Nigerian Police, which carried out a thorough investigation with the help of other agencies.
The file was subsequently forwarded to the office of the Department of Public Prosecution, DPP, on Monday, March 20, 2023, for review of the duplicate case file.
On March 23, 2023, the DPP issued his Legal Advice having established a prima facie case of involuntary manslaughter and reckless and negligent acts against the school, some members of staff and one of its vendors.
DPP Director, Dr Babajide Martins, leading other lawyers, will prosecute the case on behalf of the state.
On the defense team are Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN; Mr. Yele Delano, SAN; Chief Richard Ahonaruogho, SAN; and Mr. Kayode Enitan, SAN, leading other Counsels.
The autopsy report conducted at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja showed that Whitney Adeniran died of asphyxia and electrocution.
The deceased’s mum Blessing Adeniran, had on March 3, confirmed the autopsy report, during a live Instagram video.
She said: “The autopsy result is out and ‘Desola was electrocuted. My daughter died of electrocution. I have been subjected to trauma for the past two weeks. Tomorrow, March 4 will make it three weeks since my baby died. The school made me think I was crazy.”
She also alleged that the school claimed the deceased was ill.
Mrs. Adeniran said: “They started pushing the narrative of she was sick; she was sickly. They sent letters and publications out.
“People insulted me and my family. My child was electrocuted to death. I told the school that I don’t want trouble. All I want is answers. They came to my house and knelt.”
Mrs. Adeniran accused the school of failing to properly investigate the incident.
“I begged, I pleaded, I said ‘Mrs. Amao please, I don’t know how an autopsy is done but I have browsed it and the images are scary. Please, my daughter is already dead, don’t make me put her through that, they will butcher her. I beg you in the name of God, you are a mother, help me investigate and find out what happened. She said she didn’t know.
“My daughter was butchered for autopsy. She was opened up. They took part of her kidney, liver, stomach contents, blood, brain, and bone marrow. Omodesola was butchered.”
The school’s management had earlier claimed in a statement, that the deceased slumped in “public view and not under any hidden circumstances,” and was immediately rushed to the nearest medical facility for first aid.