The Lagos State Government arraigned Chrisland School LTD and four others before a High Court in Ikeja allegedly for involuntary manslaughter of a 12-year-old student, Whitney Adeniran who died during inter-house sports earlier in the year.
The state government filed charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless negligent acts against the school and four others including the principal, 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.
During arraignment, the prosecution, led by the Lagos state Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, informed the court that the defendants negligently killed Adeniran by due to failure to adhere to safety standards.
According to the lead Counsel for the state, the state will be calling on 17 witnesses to testify against the Defendants and that the alleged offence contravened Sections 224 and 251 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
The Defendants all pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them. The school principal, Belinda Amao, was in tears when she entered the dock.
The presiding judge, Justice Oyindamola Ogala admitted the defendants on bail after the defence counsel moved the motion for bail. No objection was made from the prosecution.
The 1st and 2nd Defendants were admitted on bail to the sum N10 million with two sureties each in like sum; the 3rd and 4th were admitted to the sum of N20 million bail each, with two sureties each in like sum. The judge also ruled that all the sureties must be gainfully employed, have credible and verified evidence of their financial status and reside within the court’s jurisdiction. All the sureties must have 2 years tax payment to the Lagos State Government and must surrender their international passports to the Chief Registrar of the High Court.
The court, however, ordered the counsel to the Defendants to write an undertaken before bail will be perfected.
The defence counsels were Mrs Bimpe Ajegbomojon (first defendant), Richard Ahonarougho SAN second defendant), Olukayode Enitan, SAN, ( third defendant), Ademola Animashaun (fourth defendant) and Mr Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, (fifth defendant) while Mrs Oluwatodimu Ige held brief for the family of the deceased.
The case was adjourned to May 25th for hearing.
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