Controversies surrounding the death of the 12-year-old Whitney Adeyemi, student of Chrisland Schools, Opebi, Ikeja, continues as Lagos State Government, on Sunday, ordered the temporary closure of the institution.
The order was contained in a statement by the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, yesterday.
Adefisayo said the closure was ordered pending the outcome of a full investigation into the unfortunate incident.
According to her, “On behalf of the state Ministry of Education, we commiserate with Mr. and Mrs. Adeyemi, parents of Whitney, over the death of their daughter.
“We also note the impact of this unfortunate event on family, friends and acquaintances of Whitney and call for calm as we assure that no effort will be spared in investigating the incident. We, pray for the repose of her soul.”
Meanwhile, controversy is trailing the circumstances surrounding the death of Whitney, whose demise occurred during the school’s sporting competition last Thursday.
A statement by the management of the school on Sunday, claimed that the deceased, who it said, had earlier on January 20, 2023, complained about a not-too-buoyant health slumped in public view and not under any hidden circumstances, adding that she was rushed to the nearest medical facility for first aid
The statement read in parts: “We are heartbroken and distressed. Whitney was one of our Day students who opted not to participate in the inter-house sports match past for reasons we were not very sure of.
“However, on discretion, we respected her decision to err on the side of caution, because on the January 20, 2023, it is in our records that she had complained about a not-too-buoyant health and we immediately contacted her parents.
“Her father, Mr. Michael Adeniran, came to the school to take her home. We emphasised to her parents to take a critical look at her.”
The school said the deceased slumped in “public view and not under any hidden circumstances,” adding that she was rushed to the nearest medical facility for first aid.
“Our immediate response was to take advantage of proximity to first-aid, 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 said.
Chrisland appealed to the Adeniran family to establish a scientific verification of the underlying cause of her death before her burial.
However, contrary to claims by the School, that she slumped in the full glare of other students and not under any hidden circumstances, the bereaved father alleged that she was electrocuted, citing disclosures to that effect by Whitney’s school mates.
Adeniran, said the battle line had been drawn, as legal action would be filed against the school over its comment that his late daughter was sick. Dr. Adeniran, who addressed newsmen at his Ikeja residence, refuted claims by the school that his daughter was sick.
Some of late Whitney’s schoolmates, who claimed to have witnessed the incident that led to her demise, said she “was electrocuted by a naked wire from a cotton candy machine.”
One of them, in an audio recording on a school group chat, reportedly said Whitney and her friend had gone to buy candy at a cotton candy stand that fateful day when tragedy struck.
But the school exonerated itself from culpability, explaining that its immediate response was to identify the nearest medical facility, where the doctor on duty administered oxygen and every aid possible on her.
Mrs. Blessing Adeniran, Whitney’s mother, has also taken to social media to narrate how she found out her daughter had died.
In the video on her Instagram page, yesterday, the tearful mother said she was told her daughter slumped and had been rushed to the hospital.
Blessing said she immediately rushed to the hospital but had a hard time finding it because she was given the wrong address. However, after she finally located where her daughter was, she said Whitney was already dead and her lips and tongue were black.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, who confirmed the incident, said the matter was at the State Criminal Investigation Department and an autopsy is going to be carried out to know the circumstances that led to her death.
This would be the second time Chrisland Schools would be shut by the state government within one year. In April 2022, the school was closed temporarily, when a scandal erupted involving a 10-year-old pupil of the school who was said to have been raped by her schoolmates during a trip to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and released the sex tape online.