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Father faults outcome of coroner’s inquest into British-born daughter’s death

Nigerian businessman, Oladapo Ogundipe, has faulted the outcome of the coroner’s inquest into the death of his daughter, Alanis, who died by suicide on May 29, 2023, in the United Kingdom.

PUNCH Metro reported that the late Alanis took her life after being allegedly blackmailed by her boyfriend, Ryan Leggetts.

The 26-year-old accountant was said to have committed the act by jumping into a moving train at a station in Manchester, United Kingdom.

The deceased’s father, Oladapo, said the incident happened after Leggets allegedly broke into her phone, copied her documents and threatened to reveal her private information to the public.

Oladapo, however, expressed concern about the feedback he got after sharing some evidence with the police authorities.

A preliminary inquest into the incident was held last Wednesday and Thursday in Bolton, Manchester.

While expressing his displeasure on the conduct of the inquest on the final day, the bereaved’s father alleged that he was initially withheld from providing evidence against Leggetts who was also part of the hearing.

Oladapo alleged that the lawyer representing his family, while acting on the instruction of his wife, Josephine, told the court not to allow him to do so.

He said, “I am not satisfied with the outcome of the inquest. I was surprised on the second day of the hearing on the inquest into the death of my daughter which took place in Bolton on May 9, 2024, that the lawyer hired by Alanis’ mother told the court that the family were not in support of me giving evidence against the ex-boyfriend of my daughter, but the coroner overruled them and I was allowed to give evidence.”

Oladapo stated further that the lawyer was also not in support of a question he had planned to ask a question to prove that Leggetts did not get the consent of her late daughter before breaking into her phone.

According to him, part of the questions include why he allegedly refused to tell the police the truth about his access to Alanis’ phone.

He said, “The lawyer was also not in support of the question I had prepared for the Leggetts that would have revealed the fact that he did not have my daughter’s consent when he accessed her phone on May 28, 2023, a day before she killed herself.

The ex-boyfriend had lied to the police that my daughter was the one who gave him the password he used in gaining access to her phone on May 28, 2023, to copy her private and sensitive information. After breaking into my daughter’s phone on that day using the new password he had stolen, he subsequently lied to the police during the investigation that he entered using her old password. In addition to wanting to ask him why he lied to the police if he had consent, I was intending to ask him whether accessing someone’s phone in the manner which he did would not have a psychological effect on the owner of the phone.”

While citing his status as an interested person at the inquest and his right to ask questions, Oladapo said he was not permitted to participate fully in the process and to assist the coroner’s inquiry.

“Part of the rights of Interested Persons at an inquest include questioning witnesses. These are significant rights conferred on them to participate fully in the process and to assist the coroner’s inquiry.”

“The mother of Alanis asked questions of the witnesses through her legal representative but I was deprived of my right as an interested person being the father of Alanis who is the subject of the inquest, to question a witness (the ex-boyfriend).”

In the report of the coroner’s inquest seen by our correspondent, Alanis was said to have died by suicide as a result of financial difficulties.

The report read, “Miss Alanis Yinka-Seydell Olushola Ogundipe died by suicide at Eccles Railway Station on May 29, 2023, aged 26 years; Miss Ogundipe deliberately placed herself in the path of a train that was travelling through the railway station at high speed with the intention and effect of ending her life.

“There was no opportunity for the train driver to prevent the collision between the train and Miss Ogundipe. Miss Ogundipe acted in circumstances where she was experiencing significant short-term financial difficulties and the possible breakdown of a long-term relationship in which her partner had been loving and supportive towards her.

While also faulting this, Oladapo said the claim was untrue, adding that his daughter had access to money.

The bereaved father who added that his late daughter had no bad credit, added that Ryan was the one emphasising financial difficulties which the coroner recorded.

He said, “Ryan was the one emphasising financial difficulties while Josephine never told me about Alanis’s mental health until she died.”

Why would she commit suicide and be desperate when she was expecting 100,000 pounds from me? Also, 107,000 pounds had come into her account from January to May 2023 and 108,000 pounds had gone out. She has not got a bad credit either. Her aunt sent her 4,000 pounds and she had just gone on a holiday to Italy. So, how would she have had financial difficulty with all these?

Also, how can the boyfriend end the relationship after demanding money from her if he had really been loving and supportive towards her?” He queried.

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