Connect with us


Lagos Justice System must be applauded for Orji’s conviction – Odefa-Wachuku



By Leonard Okachie

Following the conviction of Dr Ejike Orji for criminal negligence, Ms Adanma Odefa-Wachuku, a Lawyer and Public Health Advocate says accolades must be showered upon the Lagos State Criminal Justice system for setting this novel precedence.

According to her, the conviction of Orji for criminal negligence arising from his reckless and dangerous practice of medicine is arguably the first time a registered medical practitioner would be so convicted in Nigeria.

Odefa-Wachuku, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, said the judgement was a watershed in medical jurisprudence in Nigeria.

“It hopefully opens the floodgate for many more successful prosecutions of reckless and negligent doctors who had hitherto carried on with impunity.

“Orji was to be arraigned and tried before the Disciplinary Tribunal in 2021, for the negligent and poor handling of Somtochukwu Ezi-Ashi, his patient.

“However, three attempts were stalled by his absence on a claim of ill health.

“He further stalled the case by filing an enforcement of fundamental right suit against the Tribunal at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory,” she recanted.

While the professional case stalled at the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Disciplinary Tribunal, the DPP Lagos State continued with the prosecution of the criminal charge against Orji at the Lagos State High Court.

He was re-arraigned in February 2022, on one count of causing grievous bodily harm to Ezi-Ashi, two counts of endangering human life through reckless and negligent acts and three counts of breach of duty of person doing dangerous acts and endangering human life through reckless and dangerous acts in violation of sections 245, 251(1)(e), 209, 211 and 251(1)(e) respectively of the Criminal Law of Lagos State Cap C17 Laws of Lagos State 2015.

On Jan. 20, 2023, the court entered a verdict and convicted Orji on four of the six counts, and he was sentenced to one year in prison on each of the four counts.

Odefa-Wachuku, who wrote an article on the landmark case, “ The Enforceability of A Doctor’s Duty of Care In Nigeria: The Landmark Case of Dr. Ferdinand Ejike Orji”, chronicles the genesis of the case.

She said the case emanated from a criminal complaint in 2018 against Orji by the parents of one Somtochukwu Ezi-Ashi, a 16-year-old bo who was a high school student in the United States of America at the time.

“He was on holiday at the time. On the 26th of July 2018, while playing basketball, he fell and sustained an injury to his left leg, leading to what was later discovered to be a fracture of one of the bones in his left knee joint.

“He was rushed to Excel C Medical Centre in Ikoyi, Lagos, where Dr Ejike Orji, the Medical Director, sedated him.

“He had a police orderly and a basketball coach who accompanied him to pull the limb in opposite directions before he applied fibreglass on the left leg from the thigh to the toe.

“ He did not bother to get the consent of the child’s mother or x-rayed the leg to determine the nature of the fracture before manipulating the limb and applying the cast.

“Rather, the doctor only sent the patient for x-ray at another facility in Surulere, Lagos, after he had applied the cast.”

She said: “As the effect of the sedative wore off, the patient started complaining of pain and tightness on the leg where the cast was applied.

“His mother called Dr Orji, who had left the hospital before she returned from the X-ray facility with the patient, to complain of her son’s experience but the doctor told her that the pain would stop within two days.

“On the strength of this assurance, the woman went home with the patient only to return to the hospital the next morning with the patient because he could not sleep during the night due to the pain.

“She requested that the cast be removed but Orji only cut open a square hole in the back of the knee and asked them to go home.

“At home the patient’s mother noticed fluid oozing out from the opened space. So, she took him back to the hospital the following day- July 28, 2018.

“The patient was admitted for one day at the hospital and Orji removed part of the cast.

“Yet, there was no improvement as the limb remained swollen. By this time, the patient had lost sensation in the limb.”

In her article, Odefa-Wachuku said the father of the victim contacted two orthopaedic surgeons to seek their opinion on what to do for the patient.

It turned out that Ezi-Ashi had developed compartment syndrome precipitated by the occlusion of blood supply to the limb for more than 48 hours by the tight cast.

“Six surgical interventions had to be carried out on Somtochukwu Ezi-Ashi at Reddington Hospital, Lagos, before he was flown out to the U.S. where he had several other operations to save the limb.

“The limb was saved but he developed foot drop – difficulty lifting the front part of the foot.

“The Police conducted an investigation and submitted report to the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) who filed charges against Dr Ejike Orji in the Lagos State High Court.”

Odefa-Wachuku went further to explain that aside from the criminal complaint to the police, the patient’s mother also lodged a complaint with the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Investigation Panel in March 2019 against Orji.

According to her, she alleges negligence in the conduct of Orji in the management of her son’s condition.

Source link

Continue Reading

Just In

Entertainment23 mins ago

‘No Shake Your Bum Or Dirty Lyrics, I Will Influence Music Industry For God’ – Spyro discloses priority

Nigerian musician, Oludipe Oluwasanmi David, popularly known as Spyro has disclosed that he won’t record any ungodly or dirty music....

Entertainment26 mins ago

“You and your papa chose me when I thought my life was devoid of love” Uche Ogbodo emotional as she celebrates daughter’s second birthday

Nollywood actress, Uche Ogbodo is celebrating her daughter, Lumina’s birthday today, June 8. The young champ turns 2 and in...

News40 mins ago

Two to die by hanging for kidnapping, armed robbery

Delta State High Court 2 sitting at Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area has convicted and sentenced two persons, Mr...

News53 mins ago

Subsidy removal: What Nigerians should expect soon – Dayo Adetoye

By Isa Isawade Mr Dayo Adetoye, a Financial and Management consultant with expertise in project management, financial analysis and investment...

Entertainment1 hour ago

I was on my period while cooking during the cookathon – Hilda Baci spills

Celebrity chef, Hilda Baci has ignited the wrath of netizens after sharing that she was seeing her monthly flow all...

Entertainment1 hour ago

“You will forever live in my heart and mind” Saidi Balogun grieves as he loses sister

Nollywood actor, Saidi Balogun has lost his younger sister, Idiat Balogun Aminu. Taking to his Instagram page to bid her...

News2 hours ago

Sanwo-Olu reappoints Chief of Staff, others

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced his first appointments since inauguration for a second term in office. The...

News2 hours ago

Akpabio told to step down for Yari in ‘interest of Nigeria’

Godswill Akpabio, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, has been told to shelve his senate president bid for Abdulaziz...

Entertainment2 hours ago

Rapper, Nicki Minaj dragged to court for reportedly ‘damaging borrowed jewelry’

Hip-hop superstar Nicki Minaj, a Trinidadian-American, is currently being sued over alleged unpaid bills for handmade pieces of jewelry. The...

Entertainment2 hours ago

Toke Makinwa in awe of God as her sister announces her pregnancy after 6 years of waiting

Media personality and actress, Toke Makinwa has been left in awe of God as her elder sister, Busayo announces pregnancy...

Copyright © My State News 2023 Powered by Nestec Media Services