Court permits Chrisland school to conduct independent autopsy on Whitney Adeniran

Chrisland Schoolgirl Whitney Adeniran

A coroner in Lagos has given permission for Chrisland High School to engage an independent forensic pathologist to conduct another autopsy on the late Whitney Adeniran.

Magistrate Olabisi Fajana granted the permission on Tuesday while ruling on an application filed by Chrisland school, seeking leave to access some items obtained from the corpse of the deceased.

The school said this will enable it to consult with the independent forensic pathologist and to allow the consultant to testify accurately on his findings before the court.

Ms Adeniran, 12, died in February during the school’s inter-house sports competition at Agege Stadium. The first autopsy said she died from electrocution.

Through its lawyer, Olukayode Enitan (SAN), the school told the coroner that the request was made because its representative pathologist, Olugbenga Oyewole, only attended the initial autopsy carried out by the government as an observer and did not carry out any tests or deal with any sample.

Counsel to the state government Akin George, and the counsel to the family of the deceased Femi Falana did not object to the application.

George, however, applied orally that the court should order that the state pathologist must be in attendance during the consultation as an observer at the cost of the applicant. The counsel to the deceased’s family aligned with the submissions made by the state.

The items ordered to be released to the applicant are the paraffin block of the skin sample and slides from which the diagnosis of electrocution was made, the samples of the urine, blood, and other body fluid collected at autopsy, samples of bone and muscle taken from the deceased for independent DNA analysis.

Other items are all photographs taken during the conduct of the autopsy, copies of any other working samples and documents made in the course of the autopsy, and the result of all toxicology tests conducted.

The coroner also ordered that the chief medical examiner of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) or an officer assigned by him shall be present while transmitting the listed items for the consultation of the independent forensic pathologist of the school.

The court also directed that the consultation by the independent forensic pathologist shall be carried out within Lagos and the pathologist of the deceased’s family shall be granted access as an observer during the consultation.