An inquest to unravel the circumstances that led to the death of 10-year-old Joy Nbafa who died under a controversial manner began on Friday at a Coroner’s Court in Ikorodu, Lagos State.
The coroner’s inquest was instituted by the Lagos State Government to probe into the cause and manner of the girl’s death.
The coroner in this case is Chief Magistrate A. O. Olagbegi Adelabu.
She was alleged to have been killed by her 28-year-old guardian, Linda Alapa, on December12, 2016.
NAN also reports that this incident happened at Bamgboye Deeper Life Church Area, First Gate in Ikorodu, where the accused person was residing.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the child is a distance cousin to the accused.
It also reports that the coroner inquest is a fact finding court that has to know what, where, why and how of the pending case.
NAN also reports that the Lagos State Government in 2012 instituted a coroner’s inquest to determine the cause of those that were killed in Agege when a Dana aircraft flying to Lagos from Abuja crashed and killed over 150 people on June 3, 2012.
Also it instituted another coroner’s inquest when a recreational facility belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed killing many South African nationals some years ago.
The court had the Medical Director of Ikorodu General Hospital, Dr. Mobolaji Olukoya; a medical officer, Dr. Dada Olusola; and a Consultant Pathologist at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital, Dr. Sunday Shoyemi, to appear before it as witnesses.
Others are: a Public Affairs Officer, Yekini Olaseni, and the Investigating Police Officer, Nduka Vivian.
The Medical Director told the court that he received a phone call from the Lagos State Commissioner for Health about a dead child within the hospital premises.
Olukoya said: “It was on a public holiday that I received a phone call from the state Commissioner for Health about a dead child dumped in front of the hospital.
“So I called the hospital’s Public Affairs Officer to take charge, but the family of the deceased pressurized him to release the corpse, so we reported the matter to the Sagamu Road Police Station in Ikorodu.
“Dr Dada Olusola had indicated autopsy on her card as she was the first person the accused met at the hospital in where she confirmed that the child was brought in dead.”
The pathologist in charge of the case said the autopsy carried out on the corpse revealed linear with blunt force on the skin of the child.
Olusola said: “The child must have been beaten with a long stick.”
Also, the IPO in charge of the case said she visited the scene of the incident and gather evidence.
Vivian said: “When I got to accused person’s house, I saw broken pieces of mopping stick scattered on the floor.”
Also present at the court were the coroner’s counsel, Adebayo Shuaib, Bayo Akinlade and B.N. Amen.
Peju Shittu represented the Office of the Public Defender which is a unit in the office of the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
Olagbegi adjourned the case till March 1, for further hearing when he ordered that the husband of the accused, the community leader, neighbours, landlords and family members must appear before him.