Chrisland School Broke Child Protection Rules in Whitney’s Case, Says Lagos Government

A Deputy Director at the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mr. Yakubu Abisogun, shared in court that Chrisland School Ikeja did not follow the state’s rules for keeping children safe. He explained that during an important school event, like the sports day, the school was not well-prepared for emergencies.

Mr. Abisogun, who is an experienced officer, mentioned that their investigation found the school lacked proper emergency plans. There was only one nurse available, and they did not have an ambulance ready in case a student needed urgent medical attention.

He explained to the court that part of the state’s rules is to have a specific person responsible for child safety. This person would lead in making sure all safety measures are in place, especially during big events. However, Chrisland School didn’t have anyone assigned to this role.

Mr. Abisogun also mentioned that they learned about the incident at Chrisland School through social media. As soon as they heard about it, they called an urgent virtual meeting with all the relevant agencies involved in child safety.

During their investigation, they found that Chrisland School had more than 550 students, with over 370 ready to participate in the event. However, the school transported over 500 students to the venue without proper safety checks, which violated safety policies.

After gathering these findings, a meeting was organized on February 13, 2023, at the Ministry of Education’s conference room. This meeting was led by Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo and included Chrisland School’s staff and management. They were asked to explain what happened during the sports event.

During this meeting, they discussed the safety measures that should have been in place and asked questions to understand the situation better. The intention was to get accurate information directly from the school.

Mr. Abisogun emphasized that their investigation showed a clear case of the school not following the rules for safeguarding and protecting children. They also mentioned other instances, like a bullying case and negligence regarding students taken to Dubai.

The court also heard about the tragic incident involving Whitney Adediran, a 12-year-old student who was allegedly electrocuted during the inter-house sports competition on February 9, 2023, at the Agege Stadium. Following this incident, the Lagos State Government charged Chrisland Schools, the principal, vice principal, and two others with her death.

As the case continues, Justice Oyindamola Ogala adjourned the proceedings until March 13 for further trial.

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