Whitney’s Death: Coroner warns against delay as sitting continues today

The Coroner, Mrs O.O. Fajana, presiding over an inquest to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of a pupil of Chrisland Schools, Lagos, Whitney Adeniran, has warned against delay in the proceedings.

Fajana told parties in the suit to refrain from actions that could prolong the inquest.

“We must work within a timeframe and not drag the case,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 12-year-old pupil reportedly slumped and died during the school’s inter-house sports at the Agege Stadium, on February 9.

Fajana’s warning followed a prayer for adjournment by counsel for the school, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde.

Ayorinde prayed for another date to continue the cross-examination of the deceased’s father, Michael Adeniran, who is the second witness in the inquest.

Objecting to the request, counsel for the Adeniran family, Joseph Iriah, reminded the court that the case was adjourned from April 17 at the instance of Ayorinde.

Lagos State counsel, Mr A.A. George, also submitted that he desired advancement of the inquest.

Before he requested an adjournment, Ayorinde asked Adeniran if he was aware that his daughter suffered any form of anxiety and shortness of breath.

“According to the doctor’s report dated February 15, are you aware that the drugs prescribed (Nitrazepam 5mg and Amitriptyline 12.5mg) are drugs for anxiety and clinical depression?” he asked.

He also asked if the witness was aware of some of the side effects of the drugs, which he listed to include numbness and dizziness, then bluish and blackish lips (from Nitrazepam usage).

Ayorinde also asked if the witness did any investigation to ascertain if the stadium was safe to hold inter-house sports.

The witness answered in the negative, adding that he expected the school to have found out whether the stadium was safe.

Adeniran then recounted what happened on January 20, before Whitney’s death.

He said, “On January 20, I was on my way to work when my wife called me and said the school called her and said that my daughter had taken ill and needed medical attention.

“I drove to her school and was asked to wait at the reception.

“Later, Whitney and some teachers came and they bade her farewell and asked her to take care of herself.

“I took her from there to our family hospital, Inland Hospital.

“Some drugs were prescribed after seeing the doctor and I went to the pharmacy within the hospital to get the drugs,” he said.

Adeniran told the court that he was not aware of the functions of the drugs prescribed by the doctor because he was not a medical professional.

He further testified that he took Whitney to the hospital as a father’s responsibility to rule out any serious health issue, not because she was seriously ill.

NAN reports that the coroner adjourned the matter till Tuesday for further cross-examination of Michael.

Lagos State Government had on February 13 ordered a coroner’s inquest into the cause of Whitney’s death.

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