Alleged missing intestine: Coroner inquest begins in Lagos

The Coroner’s inquest into the death of a 12-year-old boy, Adebola Akin-Bright whose small intestine reportedly went missing began on Friday at an Ebute-Meta Chief Magistrate court sitting in Lagos.

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

However, LASUTH denied culpability in the alleged disappearance of the intestines.

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

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

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

Akinde noted that the mother 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.

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

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

The Coroner informed the court that the autopsy report was ready and would soon be presented as requested by the court, adding 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 could take up the responsibility to avoid likelihood of bias and conflict of interests.

Adegboruwa told the court that he became aware just this morning before the Court that Mr Femi Falana is the lead counsel to the mother of the deceased.

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

Mr Akinde informed the court that the State is ready to co-operate 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 today’s 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.

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

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

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