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Court grants Chrisland school principal, three others bail over Adeniran’s death

By News Desk

The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has granted the Chrisland School Principal, the Vice Principal, a teacher, and a vendor linked to the death of a 12-year-old female student, Whitney Adeniran, bail in the state.

They were granted bail after the Lagos State Government arraigned them before Justice Oyindamola Ogala for being responsible for the death of Adeniran, who died during the school’s inter-house sports event last month in Lagos.

The affected staff were the principal, Belinda Amao, the Vice Principal, Nwatu Victoria, and a teacher in the school, Kuku Fatai. The other defendant was a vendor at the Agege Stadium, Ademoye Adewale.

In the suit brought before the court, the Lagos state government arraigned them on a two-count charge of involuntary manslaughter and acting in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered the deceased child’s life.

After they all pleaded not guilty to the charges, Justice Ogala granted the principal and vice principal of Chrisland School bail in the sum of N20m each with two sureties in the sum of N10m each.

The other two defendants were granted bail in the sum of 10m each with two sureties in like sum pending the hearing and determination of the charge brought against them.

Also, the court stated that the sureties must be residents within the jurisdiction of the court and their financial status and address must be credible and verifiable.

Aside from that, all defendants must also provide evidence of payment of tax for the last three years as well as deposit their international passport with the registrar of the court.

Ogala adjourned till May 25, June 1, 8, and 15 for the commencement of trial after parties in the matter have also agreed that the trial will continue after the Easter holidays.

Before the adjournment, the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, who led the prosecution on behalf of the State Government asked the court to allow the suspects to take their plea.

When the counts were read to the defendants, they all pleaded not guilty, just as the school principal, Amao, wept loudly while in the dock.

Onigbanjo also informed the court that the state had lined up seventeen witnesses to testify against the defendant. He asked the court for a date to enable the prosecution open trial.

The defence team on its part informed the court that they had pending applications seeking the bail of all the defendants. The lawyers subsequently took turns moving their bail applications.

The Attorney General had no objections to the applications. He, however, urged the court not to grant bail on self-recognizance and to ensure to grant conditions that would guarantee that the defendants show up for their trial.

It would be recalled that on the 9th of February, 2023, Chrisland School, Ikeja, organized an inter-house sport at the Agege Sports Stadium for its students, and during the event, Whitney was electrocuted.

Indeed, a nine-paged autopsy report conducted at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja put the cause of death as asphyxia and electrocution.

When she slumped at the event, she was given first aid by the nurse on standby and was subsequently rushed to Agege Central Hospital, Agege, Lagos where she was confirmed dead by the doctor on duty.

The two-count charge which was filed on behalf of the state government by the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Dr. Jide Martins disclosed that the defendants all negligently killed Whitney by not ensuring her safety.

The charge also disclosed that they all acted in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered human life and was contrary to Sections 224 & 251 of the Criminal Law, C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

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