The Lagos State government has ordered the immediate closure of Chrisland School, Ikeja, Lagos until it is assured that the safety concerns of the students are addressed. The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, made this announcement in a statement yesterday, noting that a series of actions had been taken by the state government since February 10, 2023, when Whitney Adeniran, a 12-year-old student of the school, died during the school’s inter-house sports competition.
In the statement, the commissioner said that the Lagos State Joint Taskforce responsible for implementing the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy had carried out fact-finding visits, including a visit to the school premises and Agege Stadium, the venue of the inter-house sports event. The team also made a condolence visit to Whitney’s family.
To determine the cause of death, the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice ordered a coroner’s inquest into the matter. On February 14, a team from the Office of Education Quality Assurance had a meeting with the school’s management to investigate the adherence to child safeguarding policies regarding the planning of the inter-house sports event and the aftermath of the unfortunate incident. The team discovered that there were lapses in safety measures.
The autopsy on the 15th of February, conducted by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), revealed the cause of Whitney’s death as asphyxia and electrocution. Following the findings, the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice directed the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to issue legal advice on the matter.
On March 2, the Commissioner for Education led a delegation to commiserate with Whitney’s family and assure them of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to ensuring justice for Whitney.
The statement concluded that, without prejudice to the criminal proceedings, the secondary school will remain closed until it is assured that the safety of the students and other concerns are addressed. The commissioner emphasized that anyone found responsible would be held accountable and made to face the law.