BY PRISCA SAM-DURU
The Lagos State High Court has handed down an epochal judgment in the first ever HIV discrimination lawsuit against Dr. Alex Molokwu, Chief Medical Director of Imperial Medical Centre, Lagos.
On July 14, 2000, the Social and Economic Rights Action Centre SERAC, filed the suit challenging the termination of Mrs. Georgina Ahamefule’s employment as an auxiliary nurse by the Imperial Medical Centre and its Chief Medical Director, Dr. Molokwu based on her HIV-positive status.
In the termination letter dated October 23, 1995, Dr. Molokwu was said to have explained that the hospital’s management could not compromise the facility or its patients by exposing them to risks associated with Georgina’s HIV-positive status.
The ruling which was given by Honourable justice Y O Idowu, held that N7million damages be paid to Mrs. Ahamefule because, according to him, “the termination of Ahamefule’s employment because of her HIV status was illegal, unlawful and actuated by malice and extreme bad faith”.