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Death of legal practitioner’s wife: Court dismisses lawyer’s N20bn suit against hospital, FCT minister 

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Tuesday dismissed a N20 billion suit instituted by a legal practitioner, Ejumejowo Anthony against two Abuja based hospitals and the FCT minister.

Ejumejowo who claimed to be a human rights activist had slammed the N20bn suit marked FCT/HC/CV/2866/2021 against NISA Garki Hospital, NISA Premier Hospital and the FCT minister as 1st to 3rd defendants.

In the suit, he alleged negligence, which he claimed led to his wife’s Eloho’s death on October 5, 2019, 21 days after childbirth. 

But at Tuesday’s hearing, Justice Edward Okpe of the Nyayan Division of the FCT High Court, threw out the suit, citing lack of merit and substance. 

He sued the three defendants on behalf of himself and his three children, Ejumejowo Eru-Oghene, Ejumejowo David and Ejumejowo Evawere. 

Among others, they jointly demanded a N20bn from the defendants as compensation and damages for the death of Mrs. Ejumejowo due alleged gross negligence by Garki Hospital, Abuja.

The claimants prayed the court for declarations as follows: “That the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants are vicariously liable for the negligence of the doctors of the 1st defendant, an order directing the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants to pay to them the sum of ten billion naira only as general damages for the emotional trauma caused by the death of Mrs. Elohor Esther Ejumejowo occasioned by the negligent conduct of the doctors of the 1st defendant.

“An order of court directing the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants to pay to the claimants the sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (five billion naira) only as special damages for the emotional trauma caused by the death of Mrs. Elohor Esther Ejumejowo occasioned by the negligent conduct of the doctors of the 1st defendant.

“An order of court directing the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants to pay to the claimants the sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (five billion naira) only as exemplary damages for the emotional trauma caused by the death of Mrs. Elohor Esther Ejumejowo occasioned by the negligent conduct of the doctors of the 1st defendant.”

However, after reviewing evidence of the claimants and the defendants, Justice Okpe agreed with Nekabari Annah, lead counsel to Garki Hospital that the claimants failed woefully to discharge the burden of their allegations to be entitled to the huge sums they claimed. 

The judge held that while Garki Hospital (1st) defendant, called three medical experts who testified and gave vivid accounts of how the deceased was managed till she delivered her baby, the lawyer gave a layman’s evidence that has no probate value.