Four staff members of Chrisland School, Ikeja, Lagos, were today granted bail by Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the State High Court, after their arraignment before the court by the Lagos State Government, on allegations of involuntary manslaughter.
They were arraigned over alleged involvement in the death of a 12-year-old student of the school, Adeniran Omodesola Whitney, who died during the school’s Inter-House Sports competition.
The defendants; Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Belinda Amao, and Nwatu Victoria and the school were arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on involuntary manslaughter, reckless and negligent acts.
The charge prepared by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Dr Jide Martins, stated that on 9th February 2023 at about 1 pm, at the Agege Sports Stadium, Agege, Lagos, in the Ikeja Judicial Division, the defendants allegedly killed Whitney by acting recklessly and negligently that endangered her life.
During their arraignment, the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, told the court that the state had filed two count charges against the defendants, urging the court to take their plea.
Justice Ogala directed that the charge as prepared by the LASG be read to the defendants, who pleaded not guilty. Subsequently, their pleas were taken.
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The Attorney-General informed the trial judge that the state had lined up seventeen witnesses, and prayed the court to schedule a date for the trial to begin.
Meanwhile, the applications for bail instituted by the lawyers representing the defendants, Richard Oma SAN, Kayode Enitan SAN, Demola Animashaun and Bimpe Ajetunmobi were not opposed by the prosecution.
Chief Ayorinde SAN who represented Chrisland (5th defendant) alongside Mr Yele Delano SAN, urged the court to invoke Section 357 of ACJL that the Court should enter a Not Guilty plea for Chrisland being a corporate body and the court obliged.
While granting bail to the defendants, Justice Ogala maintained that the prudence to grant bail is that of the court.
She, therefore, granted bail to the 1st and 2nd defendants in the sum of N10m each with two responsible sureties in like sum.
She added that the sureties must produce before the court their financial status and two years’ evidence of tax payment to the LASG.
Justice Ogala also directed that the sureties must be residents within the jurisdiction of the court and that the defendants should submit their international passports to the Chief Registrar (CR) of the court.
The judge added that the financial status of the sureties must be verified by the court.
While the 3rd and 4th defendants were granted bail in the sum of N20 million each, with two responsible sureties in the sum of N10 million.
Justice Ogala, who also informed them that the sureties must produce their financial status and two years’ evidence of tax payment to the LASG, again ordered that the sureties must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and that the defendants should submit their international passports to the Chief Registrar (CR) of the court.
She added that the financial status of the sureties must be verified by the court, accordingly.
The case was however adjourned until 25th May for trial to commence.