Adeyemi Adeniran, the father of the late 12-year-old student of Chrisland High School Opebi, Whitney has testified before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.
The businessman and father of the student, who died on February 9, 2023 at the Agege stadium in Lagos, told Justice Oyindamola Ogala that his daughter, Whitney was not sickly.
Led in examination in-chief by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Dr. Babajide Martins, Adeniran told the court that his wife called him from office to come to Agege, the hospital Whitney was taken to after the incident.
He gave evidence in an ongoing trial of members of staff of the school: Mrs 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.
They were all arraigned before Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja on a 2 count charge of involuntary manslaughter, and acting in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered her life.
Their offences contravene the provisions of Sections 224 and 251 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
They all pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
The father of the deceased said, “On the day of incident, February 9, my daughter left home in her usual way to school. It was the day for their inter-house sport at Agege Stadium. She left home very healthy, nothing was wrong with her.
“I had arrived my office, in the afternoon, the mother (my wife, Blessing Adeniran) called me that she was told at the stadium that Whitney slumped and she has been rushed to the hospital. She said she was at the stadium, but was informed after her daughter had been taken to the hospital.
“She said she was told by the principal that Whitney was already coming up before she was taking to the hospital. After about 10 minutes she called, that I should come to Agege Central Hospital.
“So, immediately, I dropped everything I was doing , proceeded to Agege. It took me about 45 minutes to locate the place because it could not be found on Google map. Eventually when I arrived, I saw my wife by the road side, she waved at me to stop . I got out of the car, I told my personal assistant to leave the car on so as to quickly pick her up.”
He testified that his wife told him to go inside and pray for his daughter may be she will wake up. “I got inside, I saw her lifeless body on a table in a small room. In my mind, I thought she was given injection, maybe she was sleeping. In that room, I saw some teachers, so I went close to my daughter, I raised her up to my body, shouted, tapped her to wake up. I prayed and nothing happened, I shouted, I tapped her severally, still same situation.
“I asked for the doctor of the facility standing in a small room like a reception, I knelt down before the woman to do whatever she can do to wake my daughter up. She responded that there is nothing she can do, that she was brought in dead. I stood up and went back to the room she was laid down, the nurse was still standing close to her. I asked the nurse what happened to her?
“The school nurse said she slumped. She said she was already dilated, she was not breathing anymore. She said that she already died at the stadium before she was brought to the hospital. But she cannot pronounce her death, because she is not a medical doctor. So I said you only brought her to pronounce her dead. She said yes. After that the doctor in charge of the clinic came to me and said they need to wrap her up so that microbe will not enter her body and begin to swell up.
“The doctor said she needed some money, so I gave her N8,000. She later came back and said she needed more money, I gave her N7000 at that point, I called some of my friend that live close to that Agege Central Hospital. In a short time, they all arrived, they asked if I have reported the case to the police officially. So, they left for the police station. As soon as they left for the police station, the doctor at the hospital came to me and said she would like to see me in private.
“The doctor told me that she will advise me not to waste time in burying my daughter, she really persuaded me. She said I should make sure I bury her on time and not put her in morgue and not to say I want to conduct examination. At that point, I nearly agreed, I don’t even know of any morgue.
She talked about the money and the pain I will go through in the process of autopsy. I told her what other pain is worse than the death of a child and how much money will I spend to bring her back alive. I said I must get a closure of what happened.”