THE mother of Whitney Adeniran, a 12-year-old student of Chrisland High School, Ikeja, Lagos, has revealed that an autopsy conducted on her daughter showed she died from electrocution while taking part in the school’s sporting events at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.
This revelation came two weeks after the Lagos State Government ordered the indefinite closure of the school in response to the controversies surrounding the death of the student.
The cause of her death was initially unclear, and the parents of the deceased accused the school of negligence. The lack of an ambulance or first aiders at the venue of the sporting events was cited as a contributing factor.
Before the autopsy was carried out, the parents of the deceased had insisted that the child was healthy before leaving home on the said day, but the school management denied any wrongdoing, claiming that the student “slumped” at the stadium.
However, the autopsy revealed that the cause of death was electrocution.
Adeniran’s mother, Blessing Adeniran, who made the announcement on her official Instagram business account in a live video on Thursday, March 3, also accused the school of contributing to the trauma she has been subjected to since her daughter’s death.
She claimed that the school management had been pushing false narratives to protect their reputation.
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The older Adeniran said the school made her think she was crazy and started pushing the narrative that her daughter was sick.
She also revealed that the school refused to investigate the rumours of electrocution when her husband asked for their help. Instead, according to her, the school management sent the family a letter, assuring them they did everything possible to save the student’s life.
She further disclosed that the family would sue the school in a court of law.
In the same vein, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Lagos State Government also confirmed that the late Whitney Adeniran died from asphyxia and electrocution.
The state government reportedly disclosed this in a statement from the Office of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), on Thursday in Lagos.
The statement said that the post-mortem report issued by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital on Wednesday, March 1, showed that the deceased’s cause of death revealed asphyxia and electrocution.
The statement added that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had been instructed to issue legal advice on the matter with immediate effect.
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“The Lagos State Government commiserates with the deceased family while reassuring Lagosians that anybody found culpable would immediately be charged to court,” the statement added.
The ICIR observed through videos on social media that the girl was buried amid tears in Lagos on Thursday.
Following the unfortunate death of the student, the deceased’s parents initially accused the school management of negligence.
They took to social media to seek public intervention to unravel the circumstances that may have led to their daughter’s sudden death while participating in sporting events.
In response, the Chairman of the school’s Advisory Board, Ike Ofuokwu, noted in a statement that the 12-year-old deceased “slumped in public view and not under any hidden circumstances”.
He added that the school’s immediate response was to take advantage of proximity by identifying the nearest medical facility to take her to, where the doctor on duty administered oxygen and every aid possible on her.
The statement noted that the student opted not to participate in the inter-house sports march past “for reasons we were not very sure about”.
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The lack of an ambulance or first aiders at the venue of the sporting events was also raised by the deceased’s parents, which they believe contributed to their daughter’s death.
The controversy surrounding the death of Whitney Adeniran had attracted widespread attention and calls for investigations into the circumstances surrounding her death.
Not new to controversy
Founded in 1977, Chrisland High School is not new to controversies. In 2020, Chrisland Schools was embroiled in a controversy involving allegations of sexual assault against a toddler by a school staff member. The incident reportedly occurred in November 2016 but was not reported to the authorities until 2018.
The case went to trial in 2019, and in February 2020, a Lagos State High Court found the staff member, Adegboyega Adenekan, guilty of sexually assaulting the child and sentenced him to 60 years in prison. The verdict was widely celebrated as a victory for child rights and protection in Nigeria.
However, the controversy did not end there. Some parents of students at the school accused the school of attempting to cover up the incident and failing to provide adequate support to the victim and her family. The school denied the allegations and stated that they had cooperated fully with the authorities during the investigation.
The controversy sparked a wider conversation in Nigeria about the prevalence of sexual abuse against children and the need for schools and other institutions to take a more proactive role in preventing and addressing such incidents.
Chrisland Schools has since taken steps to improve its child protection policies and procedures, including appointing a child protection officer and implementing training programs for staff on child protection and safeguarding.
Similarly, the school was abruptly shut down in 2022 following reports of sexual misconduct by five pupils of the school during an international trip.
The alleged scandal, seen in a viral video, happened when the school was in Dubai in March of that year to participate in the World School Games, a four-day annual competition with schools worldwide.
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