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Whitney: School, Four Others Arraigned for Manslaughter

The Lagos State government has arraigned Chrisland School and some of its staff members over the death of a 12-year-old student, Whitney Omodesola Adeniran, who died during the school’s inter-house sport on the 9th of February, 2023.

They were all arraigned on Thursday before Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja on a two-count charge of involuntary manslaughter and acting in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered her life.

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

Chrisland Schools’ Whitney Died from Electrocution, Asphyxia- Lagos Govt

The Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Lagos, SAN Moyosore Onigbanjo, who led the prosecution on behalf of the State Government told the court that the state had filed two count counts against the defendants. He asked the court to allow them to take their plea.

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

The Attorney General 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 defense 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.

In her ruling, Justice Oyindamola Ogala granted the principal and vice principal of Chrisland School, Belinda Amao, and Nwatu Ugochi Victoria, 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 against them.

The court also ruled that the sureties must be residents within the jurisdiction of the court and their financial status and address must be credible and verifiable.

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.

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

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