Adeyemi Adeniran, the father of a student of Chrisland High School Opebi, Whitney, who died during the school’s sporting activities at Agege Stadium, Lagos State, on Thursday, told a High Court sitting in the Ikeja area of the state that he got to know his 12-year-old daughter was electrocuted through a group created on a social media application known as Snapchat.
In his narration to Justice Oyindamola Ogala, the deceased’s father said he was at work when his wife, Blessing, called and informed him that she was told that their daughter, who left home very healthy, slumped at the stadium and was rushed to the hospital.
According to Punch, Adeyemi said his wife told him that the principal of the school said Whitney was already regaining consciousness when they rushed her to the Agege Central Hospital.
He said, “I dropped everything I was doing, and proceeded to Agege. It took me 45 minutes to locate the place. When I arrived, I saw my wife and she told me to go inside and pray for my daughter, maybe she will wake up. When I got inside, I saw her lifeless body on a table in a small room.
“I went close to my daughter, raised her up to my body, shouted, tapped her to wake up, prayed but nothing happened. I asked for the doctor of the facility and knelt down before the woman (doctor) to do whatever she could do to wake my daughter but she said there was nothing to do and that she was brought in dead.
“I asked what happened to my daughter and the nurse said she slumped. She said she was already dilated and that she died at the stadium but she could not pronounce her dead because she is not a medical doctor. So I said you only brought her (here) to pronounce her dead, and she said yes.”
As he was engaging the nurse, Whitney’s father said the doctor in charge of the clinic informed him that they needed to wrap the corpse of his daughter, requested money and he gave her N15,000. He explained that he informed some of his friends about the tragedy that befell his daughter, and they met him at the hospital and advised him to report at the police station.
While making plans to go to the station, Adeyemi said the doctor requested seeing him privately, and during the meeting, advised him not to waste time in burying Whitney’s corpse.
The bereaved father said, “She really persuaded me. She said I should bury her on time and not put her corpse in the morgue and bother to conduct an examination. I nearly agreed at a point, I don’t even know of any morgue.
“Prior to that day, we played together, and she (Whitney) never complained of ill health. I started asking myself why I should bury my daughter in a hurry without knowing what happened to her.
“But she (the doctor) said the money and pain I will go through in the process of autopsy. I told her what other pain is worse than the death of a child and how much money will I spend to bring her back alive. I said I must get to know what happened.”
Adeyemi told the court that around 7pm on that fateful day, Whitney’s corpse was taken to the LASUTH, where a pathologist advised them to write a petition in a bid to get the autopsy done.
Narrating further, Adeyemi said he was persuading his wife to sleep when Whitney’s phone started making noise. He explained that when the deceased’s sister, Amaka, used a password to unlock the phone, they discovered a school snap chat group called ‘Lagos Housewives’.
The witness said some of Whitney’s colleagues, who sent messages to the group, said they knew the school would not tell them the truth, adding that one of the students revealed that his daughter was electrocuted.
He said, “The student wrote, ‘We are there, and we saw what happened, she was electrocuted.’ Another one said she saw Whitney on the iron rail close to the candy machine that she wanted to buy and that wire shocked her and she fell to the ground, started foaming in her mouth and one stupid man came and started putting water on her.”
The prosecution tendered the printed copy of the messages posted on the snap chat group and further told the court when the school management came for a condolence visit, they told the family not to go on social media.
While being cross-examined by the defendants’ counsels, Mrs Bimpe Ajegbomogun and Chief Richard Ahonarougho (SAN), the witness said his daughter was never a sickle-cell patient