Ajayi Smart, a witness in the ongoing coroner inquest to ascertain the cause of death of Whitney Adeniran, on Monday, told the coroner that he saw her when she fell to the ground.
Smart told the Coroner on Monday during his cross-examination that he had just finished easing himself and was returning from the convenience when his eye caught sight of a student falling.
Whitney, a student of Chrisland School, died during the school’s inter-house sports on February 9 at Agege Stadium, Lagos.
He told the coroner while testifying that the incident was within his line of vision as where he was at the block of washrooms was not far from where the 12-year-old fell to the ground.
Asked by Mr Oluwatodimu Ige, counsel to the family of the deceased, why he was at the stadium on the said date, he stated that he usually jogs and does his morning exercise routine at the stadium from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00a.m. at least three to four times weekly.
He said that on February 9, he was at the Agege stadium and when he noticed that there was an event, he did not leave the stadium immediately after he finished his morning run.
Smart, according to Tribune, added that he was walking out of the convenience, where he had gone to ease himself, when he noticed somebody falling down, and soon a crowd gathered around trying to revive her.
Ige asked him what the deceased was doing before she fell and what he did after he noticed that she fell; the witness said that he was not sure but it appeared like she was walking.
He added that he could not assist or render any help to resuscitate the deceased because he saw other adults around her, who obviously, looked like people from the school, wearing a white overall on top an inner clothing that looked like what the deceased was wearing.
Referring to paragraph 10 of the witness’ written statement on oath dated May 22, where he insisted that the deceased did not die as a result of electrocution, Ige asked if he had witnessed anyone being electrocuted before or if he was an electronic expert.
Smart said that he only witnessed one electrocution when a thief who was trying to burgle a transformer was electrocuted, adding that the thief dried up immediately and nobody dared to touch him, reiterating that the deceased did not die from electrocution because people were touching her to revive her.
Mr Akin George, the Lagos State Counsel, asked how old and the profession of the witness; he answered that he was 44 years old and a businessman who deals on Diesel and Automotive Gas Oil (AGO).
George asked if as a businessman, he would exercise four days a week and stay at the stadium from 6:00a.m. to about 12 noon; Smart said that he had a flexible working time and worked from home.
When asked why he preferred Agege stadium for his exercises, he said because it was safe.
The state counsel asked the witness how he got to know that a vendor was close by and he said that as he walked out of the convenience, there was a barricade, a vendor stand where he noticed a big pot for frying edibles that he is not certain what exactly and a box-like object.
George also asked the witness to narrate the length of time he stood aloof and how she was carried to the back and a vehicle conveyed her to the hospital, he said between five to ten minutes.
The counsel also asked him if he had even been before a Coroner to testify and the witness answered in the negative.
However, the tale changed when the state counsel recalled that the witness had actually been in the same court before a Coroner inquest into the death of one Yusuf Adedeji.
Smart, then made a U-turn and told the court that he had actually stood witness in the case of his friend who was killed.
He went further to recount how he met the candy floss vendor, Mr Ademoye Adewale, stating that he had come back to the stadium after some days and met him where he was buying bottled water and there they exchanged pleasantries and contacts after he told Adewale that he saw the deceased slump.
Mr Abimbola Ojerinde, the counsel to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), asked why he felt the deceased did not die immediately.
Smart said that because he noticed that she was easily moved from where she fell down to the back and later to a white bus that took her to the hospital.
Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Counsel to the school asked the witness if he had ever used a clinic at the stadium; the witness said no and he is not aware if there was any in the stadium.
Ayorinde also asked if the witness was paid to appear before the court and he answered no.
The Coroner, Mrs Oyenike Fajana, later summoned the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) to appear in court on June 22 as a witness.
Fajana adjourned the inquest until June 22 for further cross-examination of witnesses.