The Lagos State government on Thursday arraigned Chrisland School Limited, its principal, vice principal and two other employees over the death of a 12-year-old student, Whitney Omodesola Adeniran, who died during an event organised by the school.
Those arraigned were Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Mrs. Belinda Amao, Nwatu Ugochi Victoria and Chrisland School Limited.
They were arraigned before Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court at Ikeja, on a two-count charge bordering on involuntary manslaughter, reckless and negligent acts preferred against them by the state.
When the case was called the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice of the State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, announced his appearance for the prosecution and told the court that the state had filed two-count charge against the defendants.
The lawyer to the first defendant, Bimpe Ajegbomojun also announced her appearance; Chief Richard Ahonaruogho appeared for the second defendant; Olukayode Enitan for the third defendant; Ademola Animashaun for the fourth defendant; Chief Bolaji Ayorinde for fifth defendant (Chrisland School limited), while Oluwatodimu Ige held a watching brief for the deceased family.
In the charge information prepared by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr. Babajide Martins, the state said the incident took place on February 9, 2023.
The state government stated that at about 1pm, at the Agege Sports Stadium, Ikeja the defendants killed one Adeniran Omodesola Whitney by acting in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered her life.
According to the charge the offence committed contravened Sections 224 & 251 of the Criminal Law, Lagos State 2015.
The defendants however pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against them.
Subsequently, Onigbanjo informed the court that the state has 17 witnesses it intends to call during trial and as such prayed court for a date to open trial.
Meanwhile the defendant’s counsel told the court that they had application for bail.
Their oral application was not opposed by the prosecution.
The first defendant’s counsel, Ajegbomojun, in the bail application told the court that Ademoye Adewale had been in police custody since March 6, 2023, and urged the court to grant him bail on self, pending the determination of the charge.
Animashaun, counsel to the fourth defendant, Nwatu urged the court to grant her bail in liberal term as she is the Vice principal of the school.
He started that some of the children in the school were writing exams and that her absence might stop the students from writing the exams.
But the AG who did not object to the oral bail applications prayed the court to grant them bail that would ensure their attendance of court proceedings.
Ruling on the bail applications, Justice Ogala granted the school principal and vice principal bail in the sum of N20 million each, with two responsible and credible sureties each in the like sum of N10 million.
The judge said the sureties must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court, and must show evidence of their financial status.
Justice Ogala added that the sureties must show evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos state government and have their offices and residential address verified by chief registrar of Lagos state high court.
Justice Ogala ordered that the defendants must deposit their international passport to the chief registrar of Lagos state high court.
The judge further granted the first defendant Ademoye Adewale, who is a vendor as well as the second defendant, Fatai Kuku, who is a teacher at Chrisland school, bail in the sum of N10 million with two responsible and credible sureties in like sum.
The judge said the sureties must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must show evidence of their financial status.
Meanwhile, shortly after they were asked to enter the dock, the principal of the School Mrs. Belinda Amao, started weeping profusely.
She was seen being comforted by the vice principal of the school, Nwatu Ugochi Victoria and the first and second defendants Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai.
The case was adjourned till May 25, June 1st and 15th, 2023, for trial.