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Chrisland: “Agege stadium lacked emergency facilities,” Lagos official tells court 

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ARINZE NWAFOR, Lagos

A Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Yakubu Abisogun told an Ikeja High Court that the Agege Stadium rented by Chrisland School for its 2023 Inter House Sports event lacked emergency facilities.

During his continued cross-examination on Thursday, Abisogun, the prosecution’s third witness told the court that there was no need for the emergency facilities.

Chrisland School held an Inter-house sports competition at the Agege Stadium on February 9, 2023, during which a student, Whitney Adeniran, aged 12, died of an alleged electrocution.

The Lagos State Government brought charges on March 31, 2023, against Chrisland School Ltd., Opebi, and its principal, vice principal and two others for the death of Adeniran.

The defendants were arraigned before Justice Oyindamola Ogala.

At the resumed hearing yesterday, Abisogun was cross-examined by the counsel to the third defendant, Olukayode Enitan, SAN, who argued that the state government owns the sports facilities in the state. 

Enitan asked Yakubu if it was the responsibility of the Sports Commission of Lagos State to establish proper medical facilities and ensure they are ready to handle emergencies and the witness replied in the negative.

During the cross-examination, Abisogun read out a portion from the Official Gazette of Lagos State No 9, Volume 50 and the Judge admitted the document into evidence. 

The witness told the court that the creation of the Lagos State Sports Commission was by the instrument of the law, and referenced Law No. 4 on the role of the commission to establish and maintain a clean field and premises for holding sports competitions, marches et cetera, in districts which have the services of a social worker who will be in charge. 

The witness said that the areas covered by District Six include Oshodi, Ikeja, Opebi-Allen, Agege, Isolo, Abule Egba and the boundary of Ogun State. 

Abisogun, however, told the court, “I don’t know all the social workers in district six.” 

When the counsel to the third defendant asked if he knew  Agege Stadium was part of a recreational centre, he replied in the affirmative.

Enitan asked the witness to read Order 4 of Executive Order, 2016 and asked the witness if it applies to the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Sport.

Abisogun told the court that the order applies to the Ministry of Youth and Sports but not other Lagos State public servants. 

In a previous proceeding, the witness had told the court that he was part of a fact-finding mission that had an official meeting in 2023 with the staff and management of Chrisland School following the news of the death of the student, Adeniran.

In his testimony, Abisogun told the court that the fact-finding mission took minutes and video recordings of what happened in that meeting but he didn’t bring them to court. 

He said, “I don’t have the minutes of the meeting because I’m not the admin secretary.” 

The judge, Ogala, adjourned the matter to April 18, 2024, for further proceedings.

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