Lagos, Nigeria – A Lagos High Court on Thursday has admitted four Chrisland School Ikeja staff members to bail for the involuntary manslaughter of 12-year-old student Whitney Adeniran.
The four teachers, Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Belinda Amao, and Nwatu Victoria were charged by the Lagos government with involuntary manslaughter and reckless, negligent acts.
While hearing the case, the defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge levelled against them.
Justice Oyindamola Ogala admitted the defendants to bail after defence counsel moved the motion for bail dated March 28 and March 29, respectively.
There were no objections from the prosecution, led by the Lagos attorney general Moyosore Onigbanjo.
Ms Ogala admitted the first and second defendants to N10 million bail, each with two sureties each in like sum; the third and the fourth defendants to N20 million bail, each with two sureties each in like sum.
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The judge said 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 two years’ tax payment to the Lagos state government and must submit their international passports with th Chief registrar of the state high court,” Ms Ogala said.
However, the court ordered the defence counsels to write an undertaking for the defendants to be released to them before the perfection of their bail.
The defence counsels were Mrs Bimpe Ajegbomojon (first defendant), Richard Ahonarougho (second defendant), Olukayode Enitan (third defendant), Ademola Animashaun (fourth defendant) and Bolaji Ayorinde (fifth defendant). Oluwatodimu Ige held a brief for the family of the deceased.
The five defence counsels urged the court to grant bail to the defendants on self-recognisance.
According to the charge information signed by the director of public prosecutions (DPP), Babajide Martins, on March 24, the defendants allegedly committed the offence on February 9, at about 1:00 p.m. in Agege Sports Stadium, Agege, Lagos.
The prosecution said the defendants negligently killed the schoolgirl by not ensuring her safety.
The state also submitted that the defendants recklessly and negligently endangered human life.
Mr Onigbanjo, while arraigning the defendants, informed the court that the state would present 17 witnesses against the defendants. “We shall be praying for a date to open trial,” he said.
The judge subsequently adjourned the case until May 25 for the commencement of trial. (NAN)