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“It takes 3 minutes to get to Agege hospital,” lawyer challenges witness’ proximity claim over Whitney Adeniran’s death

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ARINZE NWAFOR, Lagos

The fourth defence counsel in the trial over the death of a Chrisland school student, Ademola Animasaun submitted to an Ikeja High Court that it takes 3 minutes to drive from the Agege Stadium to the Agege Central Hospital opposing the earlier evidence from Yakubu Abisogun.

Animasaun, on Thursday, said the Agege Central Hospital where the deceased Chrisland school student, Whitney Adeniran was rushed to after she collapsed during the Inter-house sports competition was near the stadium where the games were held.

Whitney, a student of Chrisland School, died of an alleged electrocution on February 9, 2023, during an Inter-house sports competition that was held at the Agege Stadium, Lagos State. She was 12 years old.

Chrisland Schools

During a cross-examination of the third Prosecution Witness, Abisogun by the fourth defence counsel who showed him that according to the time generated from Google Maps, it takes 3 minutes to arrive at the hospital when riding in a bus similar to the Chrisland school bus that transported the deceased student.

Animasaun told the witness, “The distance from Agege Stadium to the hospital is like from here [Ikeja High Court] to Area F Police Command.”

The defence counsel told the witness that Chrisland School had three safeguarding officers present at the Inter-house sports competition and at the fact-finding meeting of the Safeguarding and Child Protection Alliance Group (SCPAG) held on February 14, 2023, but Abisogun disagreed.

The witness said, “Our fact-finding mission found that there were no safeguarding officers. We don’t know those three people.”

Animasaun asked the witness whether any law mandated schools in Lagos State to own an ambulance and the witness said it was more of an inferred requirement.

The fourth defence counsel submitted to the Social Welfare Officer that no school under District 6, of which Chrisland School, Opebi is a part, has an ambulance.

He also told the witness that there had not been a state-assigned social worker who showed up at Chrisland School and queried the witness if he received any report from the assigned social worker.

Animasaun submitted to the witness that Chrisland School disagreed entirely with the SCPAG fact-finding mission report on which his evidence was based.

He said “The school disagrees entirely with your report. This report is replete with factual inconsistencies and outright falsehood.”

“It is also replete with spelling and typographical errors,” Animasaun added.

While Abisogun agreed that the report had typographical errors and spelling mistakes, he disagreed with the fourth defence counsel’s submission of having a false report.

Further, Animasaun queried the witness on why he failed to report the death of Adeniran to the Community-based Maternal, Perinatal and Child Death Surveillance and Response Committee as mandated by the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy of Lagos State.

Justice Oyindamola Ogala adjourned the matter till June 3, 2024, for continuation of the trial.

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