HomeCourt room newsWhitney Adeniran: My Daughter Died Before She Got to Hospital, Father Tells...

Whitney Adeniran: My Daughter Died Before She Got to Hospital, Father Tells Court

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The trial of the principal and some staff members of Chrisland School, Opebi, resumed on Monday at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja with the testimony of the father of late Whitney Adeniran, a 12-year-old student of the school who died on February 9, 2023, during the school’s inter-house sports activities held at the Agege Stadium.

The father, Adeyemi Adeniran began his testimony in May 2023 when he was led in evidence by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Babajide Martins. But on Monday, he answered questions under cross-examination from counsel to the school, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Bolaji Ayorinde.

Mr Adeniran told trial judge, Justice Oyindamola Ogala that he was informed by the school nurse that his daughter died at the Agege Stadium before she was taken to the hospital.

He said, “The nurse said she already died. Her eyes were already dilated before they left the stadium but the nurse could not pronounce her dead, becoming she is not a doctor”.

In answer to the questions from the school’s lawyer, the witness also said that he was not aware if a procedure known as CPR was administered on his daughter, Whitney at the stadium, neither could he confirm if oxygen was administered on her at the hospital.

He however remembered that he was informed by the hospital, Agege Central Hospital and Diagnostic Limited, that his daughter suffered cardiac arrest on the day of the incident.

The state government had charged Chrisland School, Opebi, its principal, Belinda Amao, vice-principal, Victoria Nwatu, one Kuku Fatai, and a cotton candy vendor at the stadium, Ademoye Adewale, for the death of the student.

The defendants were arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on alleged involuntary manslaughter, and reckless and negligent manner that endangered the student’s life.

The offences contravene the provision of Sections 224 and 251 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

At their arraignment on March 31, 2023, the defendants all pleaded not guilty.

Her father, Adeyemi Adeniran is testifying as the first prosecution witness.

In answers to questions put to him today, Mr Adeyemi confirmed that no part of the event that led to his daughter’s death took place on the premises of Chrisland School as the incident took place at the Agege Stadium on the 9th of Feb. 2023.

He also confirmed that he was not at the stadium on the day of the incident and he was informed of everything that happened at the stadium by his wife, the school nurse, the principal, and other eyewitnesses.

In answer to questions about the late Whitney’s state of health before the incident, her father testified that she was in good health on the day of the incident and was not on any medication.

He however said that before that day, on January 20th, 2023, the school had called Whitney’s mom, to tell her that their daughter wasn’t feeling well. He confirmed that a medical report was issued by Inland Hospital after examining Whitney. The hospital had also recommended some medication for her.

“She was given some medicine on the 20th after the school asked us to pick her up for ill-health and the medicine was for a few days,” he said.

Counsel: Do you know the names of the drugs?

Witness: I do not know

Counsel: Do you know the dosage that was advised by the doctor?

Witness; The dosage was written on the medicine itself and she used them according to the prescription. I don’t know the name of the medicine. It was not written.

He further explained that he got to know the name of the medicine from the doctor’s report obtained from the hospital issued on 16 February 2023 after her death.

Reading from the report which had been tendered as an exhibit before the court, he gave the names of the drugs prescribed as Nitrazepam 5mg and Amitriptyline, 12.5mg.

“I collected this report after the incident of Feb 9th, on the 16th of Feb. when the school started to insinuate that my daughter was not well,” he added.

Apart from the incident of the 20th of January, 2023, he also confirmed that his daughter did not go to school on February 2nd. He however said her absence was not due to ill-health.

Counsel: Did you make any attempt to check the drugs maybe online or ask questions from friends or relatives?

Witness: No, I didn’t check.

Counsel: Do you know the owners of Agege Stadium?

Witness: I do not know the owners but I’m aware it’s owned by Lagos State Govt.

Counsel: Do you know if Chrisland had used that stadium before Feb 9th for inter-house sports?

Witness: Yes they have.

Counsel: And did Whitney participate in such an event?

Witness; Yes, she did.

Counsel: Do you know if there were fatalities?

Witness: No

Counsel: Do you have an idea of how many students were in Chrisland School as of Feb 2023?

Witness: I have no idea.

Counsel: Before 9th Feb, did you have any cause to report, Chrisland School about their treatment of students to any authority?

Witness: No

Counsel: Are you aware that the authorities of Lagos have now questioned the state of facilities at Agege Stadium since the event of the 9th?

Witness: I’m not aware.

Counsel: Are you aware that after the 9th of Feb, several events have been held at Agege Stadium?

Witness: I’m not aware.

After listening to his testimony Justice Ogala adjourned further hearing to Wednesday, Jan. 24th, 2024.

Background

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 Inter-house Sports, one of the Students- Whitney Omodesola Adeniran aged 12 years was said to have slumped at the stadium.

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.

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

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