On Thursday, the Lagos State government arraigned Chrisland School, Opebi, its principal, vice principal, and two employees over the death of one of the school’s pupils, 12-year-old Whitney Adeniran. This case has sparked outrage across Nigeria, and people are eagerly waiting to see justice served.
The defendants were arraigned before Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja. They include Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Mrs. Belinda Amao, Nwatu Ugochi Victoria, and Chrisland School Limited. According to the charges filed by the state, the defendants allegedly killed Miss Adeniran on February 9, 2023, at about 1 pm, in Agege Sports Stadium, Agege, Lagos, by acting in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered her life.
The defendants were arraigned on two count charges bordering on involuntary manslaughter, reckless and negligent acts preferred against them by the state. The state Attorney General, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, informed the court that the state had filed two count charges against the defendants, urging the court to take their plea. After the charges were read, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
Subsequently, the Attorney General informed the court that the state has seventeen witnesses and as such will be praying for a date to open trial. The oral application was not opposed by all the defendants’ counsel.
Justice Oyindamola Ogala, who presided over the matter, thereafter fixed May 25, June 1, 8, and 15 for the commencement of trial. While in the dock, the school’s principal, Mrs. Belinda Amao, broke down in tears as the court and counsel tried to agree on a date for the commencement of the trial.
This case has sent shockwaves through Nigeria, with many questioning the safety and wellbeing of children in schools across the country. The death of Whitney Adeniran has highlighted the need for stricter regulations and oversight in schools to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
The Lagos State government has taken a decisive step in bringing the defendants to trial and ensuring that justice is served for Whitney Adeniran and her family. It is hoped that this case will serve as a wake-up call for schools across Nigeria to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of their students and take all necessary measures to prevent accidents and tragedies from occurring.