The parents of late Omodesola Whitney Adeniran, a-12-year-old student of Chrisland High School in Lagos who died on February 9, 2023 during the school’s inter-house sports activities at the Agege Sports Stadium, will on April 17 testify before the Coroner inquest at the Ogba Magistrate court.
This is the ruling on the application brought before the Coroner Magistrate, Magistrate Olabisi Fajana.
The school had filed an application seeking samples and materials to carry out an independent evaluation of the autopsy report conducted by the Lagos State Government.
Lagos State government had on February 13, ordered a coroner’s inquest to establish the cause of Whitney’s death.
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) gave the directive in a statement, noting that thorough investigation will be carried out to ascertain the cause of death.
“A Coroner’s Inquest has immediately been requested, in line with section 14 and 15 of the Coroners’ Systems Law, Laws of Lagos State 2015, to determine the cause and circumstances of death.
“By Section 14(1)(d) of the Coroners’ System Law of the State: “A report of death shall be made to any of the agencies for the report of death or the office of the Coroner and be subject to post-mortem examination where there is reasonable cause to believe that the cause of death was: violent, unnatural or suspicious.”
“Section 15(1) and (9) further enjoins the Coroner to hold an inquest whenever he or she is informed that the death of the deceased person was in a violent, unnatural or suspicious situation or believes an inquest is desirable following the report of a reportable death.
“The findings of this investigation will be made public in due course and appropriate sanctions meted out to anyone found culpable,” he added.
But on March 2, the state government announced that Whitney died as a result of asphyxia and electrocution.
This was stated in the post mortem report received by the state on the cause of Whitney’s death.
The coroner inquest was fixed for April 4 to begin hearing.
But on April 3, the school filed an application, seeking for an order by the Coroner granting leave to the applicant to be supplied with and have access to the underlisted items from the Chief Medical Examiner of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital or relevant officer so as to enable the school consult an independent pathologist.
The items the school asked for are the paraffin block of the skin sample and slides from which the diagnosis of electrocution was made.
“Samples of the urine, blood and other body fluid collected at autopsy, samples of bone and muscle taken from the deceased for purpose of DNA independent analysis.
“All photographs taken during the conduct of the autopsy, copies of all histology slides reported as part of the post mortem examination.
“Copies of any other working sample and documents made in the course of the autopsy and result of all toxicology test conducted”.
The State Counsel, Mr. Akin George did not oppose the application and the Magistrate adjourned to rule on the application till Tuesday, April 4.
When the matter came up today, Magistrate Fajana granted all the request of the applicant.
She ordered that the Chief Medical Examiner of the LASUTH should supply all the listed items to the applicant’s pathologist laboratory on the day of the forensic consultation.
Fajana ordered that the consultation should be under the supervision of the Chief Medical Examiner of the LASUTH or relevant officer.
Others to be present are the parents of the deceased.
The Coroner also stated that the deceased’s parents are to testify on April 17, 2023.