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Alleged Missing Intestine: Coroner Inquest Begins In Lagos

 Adebola Akin-Bright

The Coroner’s inquest regarding the tragic death of Adebola Akin-Bright, the 12-year-old boy whose small intestine was reported missing, commenced on Friday at the Ebute-Meta Chief Magistrate Court in Lagos.

Akin-Bright died on Sept. 9 following a corrective surgery done at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH.

The Coroner Inquest is presided over by Mrs Bola Folarin-Williams, the District Coroner.

At the inaugural hearing, Mr O.A. Akinde, Lagos State counsel, informed the court that necessary tests and examinations had been conducted on the corpse and there is a post-mortem report.

He said that the office of the Attorney-General is aware of letters from solicitors to the father of the deceased seeking to preserve the corpse.

The state counsel noted that the mother of the boy also seeks the release of the corpse to her for burial and the state is not against any of the requests, as the court may decide.

Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, counsel to the complainant, informed the court that he would love to call the Medical Director of Hobitox Medical Centre, where the deceased was first admitted and treated.

He said the doctors who treated the deceased in LASUTH and all policemen involved in the investigation would be summoned for proper understanding of what actually happened.

The Coroner, Mrs Bola Folarin-Williams, informed the court that the autopsy report was ready and would soon be presented as requested by the court.

The coroner also stated that the father and mother of the deceased should file their respective applications on what to do with the corpse so that the court can rule on it.

Adegboruwa, however, stated that since the deceased died in LASUTH, it might be better to have an independent examination of the corpse by experts.

He said experts like the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, could take up the responsibility to avoid the likelihood of bias and conflict of interests.

The counsel to the complainant told the court that he became aware on Friday morning, before the court, that Mr Femi Falana, SAN, is the lead counsel to the mother of the deceased.

He submitted that he would prefer to liaise with Falana so that both father and mother can harmonise their viewpoints while they allow the coroner to preserve the corpse.

Akinde informed the court that the state is ready to cooperate with and assist the parties by making available all witnesses, documents, doctors and medical personnel that attended to the deceased at LASUTH.

After listening to all the parties, the coroner stated that the inaugural sitting is for preliminary proceedings to set the course for the inquest.

She asked the parties to meet and harmonise their views and submit the list of the names of witnesses to be called before the next date.

She also directed that the autopsy report and all necessary documents be made available to counsel to the parties.

The case was adjourned to Nov. 24, for further proceedings.