Whitney Adeniran’s parents not obligated to tell Chrisland School about panic attack – Social worker

Chrisland Schoolgirl Whitney Adeniran

A deputy director at the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development Jubril Yakubu said on Wednesday that he did not think the parents of the late Whitney Adeniran had a duty to inform Chrisland School authorities that she had panic attack.

Yakubu stated this before Justice Oyindamola Ogala of an Ikeja High Court during cross-examination by the second defence counsel, Richard Ahonaruogho (SAN).

Lagos State Government on March 31, 2023, charged Chrisland Schools, its principal and vice principal and two others with the killing of Adeniran.

The student was allegedly electrocuted on February 9, 2023, during the school’s inter-house sports competition at Agege Stadium, Lagos State.

Those charged alongside the school are Ademoye Adewale (a cotton candy vendor), Kuku Fatai, Belinda Amao (Principal) and Victoria Nwatu.

During cross-examination by the first defence counsel, Bimpe Adegbomogun, Yakubu said it was not within his purview to investigate the stadium where the 12-year-old student died.

“Agege Stadium was not within the purview of my investigation as a social welfare officer.

“The implementation of the policy does not belong to me, it belongs to the whole school assessment committee, the Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency and the Ministry for Youth and Development.

“My duty is on four principles which are general wellbeing of the children, safeguarding and protecting, consultation and transparency, early recognition and intervention.

“My duty here is to identify issues that can bring about harm to children in school and I do not agree that my office and ministry have failed woefully,” Yakubu said.

The social worker further told the court that in his report, he mentioned that the cause of Adeniran’s death would be established through autopsy.

Under cross-examination by Ahonaruogho, the witness said everything that came to his knowledge was contained in his report.

Yakubu said the fact-finding of his report was addressed to the management of the ministry but it was not indicated in the report.

He added that the parents of the deceased were not present at the meeting held on February 14, 2023.

He also stressed that the management of the stadium was not invited to the fact-finding meeting.

Whitney Adeniran: Chrisland School had only one nurse, no ambulance on inter-house sports day — Lagos official

Yakubu confirmed that the dissemination of the policy should be done by the staff of the ministry to the school.

The witness, however, said he did not know if there were documents to show it had been disseminated.

Yakubu added that it was not indicated in the report that the school did not have a child protection officer.

He said: “I visited the parents of the deceased to commiserate with them but I do not know when the school contacted the parents.

“I do not rely on social media and my conclusion that the school was insensitive was not a lie.

“I would not be surprised if the absence of the deceased from school on Jan.20, 2023, was due to her being sick because it was not an issue to me.

“I am not a medical practitioner, so I do not know what anxiety panic attack is.”

Yakubu said he did not think the parents of the deceased had a duty to inform the school that the deceased had panic attack.

“The school is the custodian of a child and they have the biodata of students.

“The consultant psychologist of the school was not allowed at the fact-finding meeting because she did not identify herself as part of the school management,” the witness said.

The judge adjourned the case until March 21 for continuation of trial.