An Ikeja High Court in Lagos State on Thursday admitted four staff members of Chrisland School, Ikeja to bail for alleged involuntary manslaughter of a 12-year-old student, Whitney Adeniran.
The Lagos State Government charged Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Belinda Amao, and Nwatu Victoria with involuntary manslaughter and reckless negligent acts.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Oyindamola Ogala admitted the defendants to bail after the defence counsel moved the motion for the bails dated March 28 and 29.
There was no objection from the prosecution led by the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN).
Ogala admitted the first and second defendants to N10 million bail each with two sureties each in like sum
She also admitted the third and the fourth defendants to N20 million bail each with two sureties each in like sum.
The judge said all the sureties must be gainfully employed, have credible and verified evidence of financial status and reside within the court’s jurisdiction.
“All the sureties must have two years’ tax payment to the Lagos State Government and must submit their international passports to the Chief Registrar of the State High Court,” Ogala said.
The court, however, ordered the defence counsel to write an undertaking in order for the defendants to be released to them before the perfection of their bail.
The defence counsel were Bimpe Ajegbomojon (first defendant), Richard Ahonarougho (SAN) second defendant), Olukayode Enitan (SAN) (third defendant), Ademola Animashaun (fourth defendant) and Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) (fifth defendant), while Oluwatodimu Ige held brief for the family of the deceased.
The five defence counsel urged the court to grant bail to the defendants on self recognisance.
NAN reports that according to the charge information signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr. Babajide Martins, on March 24, the defendants allegedly committed the offence on February 9 about 1pm in Agege Sports Stadium, Agege, Lagos.
The prosecution said that the defendants negligently killed Adeniran by not ensuring her safety.
The state also submitted that the defendants acted in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered human life.
Onigbanjo, while arraigning the defendants, informed the court that the state would be presenting 17 witnesses against the defendants.
“We shall be praying for a date to open trial,” he said.
According to the prosecution, the alleged offence contravened Sections 224 and 251 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
Ogala subsequently adjourned the case until May 25 for the commencement of trial.