Ademoye Adewale, a cotton candy vendor, contracted by Chrisland School to prepare snacks for its students, during an inter-house sports, has told a corona inquest that Whitney Adeniran was not electrocuted by his tools.
Adewale, under cross-examination, told the Coroner, Mrs Oyenike Fajana on Monday, that his machine meant for the snacks was not in use at the time the 12-year-old student slumped and died.
Whitney died during the school’s inter-house sports on February 9 at Agege Stadium, Lagos.
The vendor was to produce snacks such as candy floss, popcorn, shawarma, and barbecue, among others for the students.
Responding to questions by the family Counsel, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, Adewale said he had been a registered vendor at the Agege Stadium since 2013, 10 years.
Adewale said the school officials came to inspect the stadium prior to the inter-house sports.
The vendor told the inquest that the machine he used was three years old and had a Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, cap certification.
Adewale also said the stadium was his source of electricity to power his machine.
Referring to paragraph 18 of the witness’ statement in evidence, Falana asked if Adewale was an expert to conclude that the deceased was not electrocuted.
Adewale said: “To my understanding and observation, the student did not die of electrocution because she was five centimeters away from where I mounted my machine and I believe the autopsy was erroneous.”
Adewale added that there was no naked wire around his machine, and that the machine was unplugged as at the time the student slumped and later died.
Asked if he had conducted an autopsy before, or witnessed where one was carried out, Adewale said no.
Mr Seun Akinde, the Lagos State Counsel, asked Adewale how his attention was drawn to the incident.
Adewale said from where he sat, waiting for the school to give him directive to produce the snacks, he looked up and saw a crowd of students and teachers.
He said he went there and met a student on the ground and two minutes later, the school nurse came and the deceased was moved from there because it is a passage way to the back of the stadium from the pitch.
I left the place, went back to my stand and the next day I heard via the social media that the student had died.
“I assisted by tapping the arm of the deceased in the process of getting her to respond as she laid on the ground; I did not notice or observe any changes; I did not also notice any water being poured on her to revive her,” he said.
Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, Counsel to Chrisland School, asked if the witness had been detained pertaining to the case and he said he was detained for 24 days when he was invited by the police for his account.
Ayorinde asked if the police showed any report that the machine was ineffective or malfunctioning and he responded in the negative.
Mrs Bimpe Ajegbomogun, Counsel to Adewale, asked if he was aware of any other electrocution on that day after the incident, Adewale said no.
The coroner, thereafter, asked why the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, was not in Court and Akinde Counsel to the state said he should be summoned by the Court on one of the adjourned dates.
Fajana, in the absence of any objections, adjourned the matter until May 22,
The inquest was to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of Miss Whitney Adeniran, a student of Chrisland Schools, Lagos.
The Lagos State Government, based on the Post Mortem Report it received on the cause of death, said the student died of Asphyxia and electrocution.
The Post Mortem Report dated March 1, was issued by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.