Coroner Inquest into the Case of Adebola Akin-Bright Begins
Proceedings commenced today into the circumstances surrounding the death of Master Adebola Akin-Bright, the boy with the missing intestine who died at LASUTH. The Coroner Court is presorted over by His Honour Mrs Bola Folarin-Williams, District Coroner, sitting at Magistrate Court 4, Botanical Gardens, Ebute-Metta.
Mrs Abiodun Kolawole, for African Women Lawyers Association.
Mrs Abiodun Kolawole represented the African Women Lawyers Association while Mr O.A. Akinde, state counsel from the Ministry of Justice represented the Lagos State Government, as an interested party.
When the case was called, Mr Akinde informed the court that necessary tests and examinations have been conducted on the corpse whereby there is a post-mortem report. The office of the Attorney General is aware of letters from solicitors to the father of the deceased seeking to preserve the corpse while the mother seeks the release of the corpse to her for burial. The state is not against any of the requests, as the court may decide.
Mr Adegboruwa informed the Coroner that the complainant would love to call the medical director of Hobitox Medical Centre where the deceased was first admitted and treated, the doctors that treated the deceased in LASUTH and all policemen involved in the investigation, in order to have a proper understanding of what actually happened to the deceased.
At this point, the Coroner informed that she got information that the autopsy report is ready and will soon get to the court, whereupon Mr Adegboruwa applied that it be made available to all the parties in the case.
The coroner stated also that it may be necessary for the father and the mother of the deceased to file their respective applications on what to do with the corpse so that the court can rule on it.
Mr Adegboruwa however stated that since the decreased died in LASUTH, it may be better to have an independent examination of the corpse by experts such as the Nigerian Medical Association, to avoid likelihood of bias and conflict of interests.
Mr Adegboruwa further informed the Coroner that he became aware just this morning before the Court sat that Mr Femi Falana, SAN, is the lead counsel to the mother of the deceased. He would prefer to liaise with Mr Falana, SAN, so that both father and mother can harmonize their viewpoints. But in the interim, it is good to preserve the corpse since the Coroner has already assumed jurisdiction over the matter.
Mr Akinde informed the Coroner that the state is ready to co-operate with and assist the parties by making available all witnesses and documents, including all doctors and medical personnel that attended to the deceased at LASUTH.
After listening to all the parties, the Coroner stated that today’s inaugural sitting is for preliminary proceedings to set the course for the inquest. She asked the parties to meet to harmonize their views and submit the list of the names of witnesses to be called before the next date. She directed that the autopsy report and all necessary documents be made available to counsel to the parties.
The case was adjourned to 24th November 2023, for further proceedings.
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