Blessing and Adeyemi Adeniran, the parents of late Chrisland School student, Whitney Adeniran, have appeared before the coroner inquest set up to unravel the mystery surrounding the student’s death.
They were cross-examined by the Lagos State Government Counsel, Akin George, and one of the lawyers to Chrisland School, Bolaji Oyerinde, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
Mr. George noted that the state also has witnesses that would be presented later to the court, including the pathologist that was present for the autopsy, while the counsel to the deceased family, Femi Falana, (SAN) said the deceased’s parents are the only witness and agreed to the court’s decision for continuation of the matter.
Meanwhile, the counsel to an indicted vendor, Bimpe Ajegbomogun, also revealed that they have three witnesses that would be presented to the court as well.
The Lagos State Government had filed a two-count charge of involuntary manslaughter and reckless and negligent acts against the vendor, Chrisland School Limited and three of its staff.
The defendants are Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Belinda Amao, and Nwatu Victoria.
A trending audio allegedly made by a Chrisland student claimed the 12-year-old deceased died after mistakenly touching a naked wire from one cotton candy vendor machine.
Following the unfortunate death of the student, the deceased’s parents accused the school management of negligence.
The parents also insisted at the court that their daughter was not sick before the school bus came to pick her up for the event on the fateful day.
They took to social media to seek public intervention to unravel the circumstances that may have led to the student’s sudden death while taking part in the school’s sporting events.
The parents insisted that the lack of an ambulance or first aiders at the venue of the sporting events contributed to the student’s death.
In reaction, the school noted in a statement that the 12-year-old “slumped in public view and not under any hidden circumstances.
The coroner had on 4 April granted the school’s request to access samples obtained from the deceased for an independent autopsy.
However, another counsel to Chrisland School, Olukayode Enitan, told the coroner that the management of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) where the autopsy was conducted was yet to respond to their request to get the samples.
Mr. Enitan said the hospital has been giving excuses but “we informed them that they may hold on to the samples, pending when our consultant will be able to come in physically to examine them.”
In response, the magistrate said the court will follow up and she subsequently ordered the counsel to the state government to write to the hospital’s management to honour the letter.
The Lagos State Government had announced in February that the report of the autopsy it earlier conducted on the body revealed she died from “asphyxia and electrocution”, during the school’s inter-house sports event on 9 February.
However, the school through its lawyer, Mr Enitan, told the coroner that the request for an independent autopsy was made because its representative pathologist during the one conducted earlier only attended as an observer and “did not carry out any tests on the samples.”