The Coroner Court was presided over by Magistrate Bola Folarin-Williams.
At the proceedings, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa SAN, who led Aramide Adeogun and Ezekiel Nnadi, announced an appearance for the father of the deceased, Olumuyiwa Akin-Bright, the complainant.
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, Akinde informed the court that necessary tests and examinations had been conducted on the corpse, and there was a post-mortem report.
He stated that the office of the Attorney General was aware of letters from solicitors to the father of the deceased seeking to preserve the corpse, while the mother sought the release of the corpse to her for burial.
Akinde further told the coroner that the state was not against any of the requests, as the court may decide.
However, Adegboruwa informed the Coroner that the complainant would like to call the medical director of Hobitox Medical Centre where the deceased was first admitted and treated, the doctors who treated the deceased in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, and all policemen who were involved in the investigation, to get a proper understanding of what actually happened to the deceased.
Meanwhile, the coroner informed the court that she got information that the autopsy report of the deceased was ready and would soon get to the court.
Adegboruwa also argued that the autopsy report should be made available to all parties in the case.
The coroner further stated 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.
Adegboruwa, however, stated that since the deceased 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 the likelihood of bias and conflict of interests.
He further informed the coroner that he became aware just this morning (Friday) before the court sat that Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, is the lead counsel to the mother of the deceased.
Adegboruwa added that he would prefer to liaise with Falana, SAN, so that both father and mother can harmonise their viewpoints.
But in the interim, it is good to preserve the corpse since the coroner has already assumed jurisdiction over the matter.
In his response, Akinde informed the coroner that the state was ready to cooperate with and assist the parties by making available all witnesses and documents, including all doctors and medical personnel who attended to the deceased at LASUTH.
After listening to all the parties, the coroner stated that Friday’s inaugural sitting is for preliminary proceedings to set the course for the inquest.
She therefore asked the parties to meet to harmonise their views and submit a list of the names of witnesses to be called before the next date.
Magistrate Folarin-Williams directed that the autopsy report and all necessary documents should be made available to counsel for the parties.
The case was adjourned to November 24, 2023, for further proceedings.