Court bus driving against traffic kills lawyer; family demands N.5 Billion

Posted by News Express | 5 December 2013 | 4,071 times

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The family of a promising Nigerian lawyer whose life was cut short by an indisciplined court driver is demanding N500 million compensation from the driver’s employees, the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Barrister Joseph Nnaemeka Ogenyi, 29, died from injuries he sustained when Mr. Ekenedirichukwu Ojukwu, who was driving a Coaster Bus belonging to the Federal High Court, knocked him down in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on May 22. News Express learnt that Ojukwu was driving against the traffic as at the time of the accident.

Ogenyi’s family considers the N500,000 compensation from Ojukwu’s employers as being grossly inadequate and have instructed an Abuja-based law firm, Anthony Oka & Associates, to engage the Chief Judge, Federal High Court, Abuja, over the issue.

Acting on the family’s instructions, the firm in a letter dated October 22, 2013 signed by its  

Principal Partner, Anthony Oka Esq., wrote to demand for damages and compensation to the tune of half a billion naira for the untimely death of Barrister Ogenyi.

As at the time of this report, the Federal High Court, Abuja, was yet to reply the letter, which was copied its Chief Registrar and entitled “CAUSING THE DEATH OF BARRISTER JOSEPH NNAEMEKA OGENYI BY THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT: DEMAND FOR DAMAGES AND COMPENSATION”. The letter, a copy of which is in the possession of News Express, reads as follows:

“We represent the family of Damian Ogenyi of Ebonyi State who have instructed us to write this letter to you on their behalf. We will refer to them subsequently in this letter as “our clients”.

“We are informed by our client, that on the 22nd day of May 2013, a Coaster Bus belonging to the Federal High Court and driven Mr. Ekenedirichukwu Ojukwu negligently and fatally knocked down Joseph Nnaemeka Ogenyi Esq.

“Mr Ogenyi was taken to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Choba where he later died from the injuries sustained from the incident.

“The late Joseph Nnaemeka Ogenyi Esq was 29 years old at the time of his death. He was born on the 23rd of November 1984. He graduated from the Ebonyi State University in 2008 with a Bachelors Degree in Law and was called to the Nigerian Bar on the 3rd of November 2009. He was survived by 6 siblings and both parents.

“After his death, we are made to understand that the Federal High Court Authority gave the family the sum of N500,000.

“The life of Joseph Nnaemeka Ogenyi was cut short, brutally in its prime. He could have risen to serve his fatherland and indeed humanity in any capacity; but that is not going to be. Prior to his death, Mr. Ogenyi was already assisting in the education of his siblings and in the upkeep of his parents, and relations. All these hopes and aspirations and assistance are now lost.

“We hold the Federal High Court Authority vicariously liable for Mr. Ogenyi’s untimely death.

“We have been instructed by the family of the late Barrister Joseph Nnaemeka Ogenyi to demand from the Federal High Court the sum of N500million as damages and compensation for the negligent causing of the death of Barrister Joseph Nnaemeka Ogenyi.

“Please Note, that we also by this letter give you statutory notice of our intention to proceed to court against you if you do not meet with our demands within the length of the statutory notice.”

•Photo shows Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Auta.

Source: News Express

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