Human rights lawyer Femi Falana SAN has sued the Federal Capital Development Authority over “failure to cover up the manhole on Abuja streets.
The suit filed yesterday before the High Court in Abuja followed the event on 27th October 2017 when according to Falana he “was walking on Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama District, Abuja, and fell into an uncovered manhole which had no inscription around it to caution road users especially pedestrians to avoid same.”
In the suit no CV/0248/17, Falana is arguing that, “The Defendant owes all road users, including the Plaintiff a duty of care by ensuring that the roads within the Federal Capital Territory are safe for all road users. The defendant ought to know that leaving a manhole open in the middle of the road was dangerous for all road users, especially pedestrians. The Defendant owes the Plaintiff a duty of care to ensure his safety while walking on Sheu Shagari Way, Maitama District, Abuja.”
According to Falana, “The failure of the Defendant to exercise reasonable care for the safety of road users especially pedestrians by covering the manhole in the middle of the road caused the accident leading to the severe sprain the Plaintiff suffered on his right knee. The Plaintiff was in severe and excruciating pain when the accident leading to the sprain in his right knee occurred. The Plaintiff had to undergo series of medical procedures which caused him severe pain. Owing to the severe pain, the Plaintiff suffered physical, psychological and mental trauma.”
The suit read in part: “The accident impacted negatively on the Plaintiff’s business as he was admitted at the National Hospital Abuja from October 26, 2017 to October 27, 2017. The Plaintiff avers that several persons have suffered similar injuries resulting from similar accidents due to the negligence of the Defendant.
The Plaintiff further avers that the Defendant has failed to cover the several manholes in the Federal Capital Territory.”
“The Plaintiff further specifically avers that upon falling into the uncovered manhole, the Plaintiff was injured and was rushed to the National Hospital Abuja where he was issued a Patient’s Personal Card with Number: 532102.”
“The Plaintiff avers that he was examined by a Radiologist at the National Hospital Abuja where he was diagnosed with a severe sprain in his right knee that led to the application of POP cast on the said knee. The Plaintiff pleads and will at the trial of this matter, rely on a copy of the report dated 27/10/2017 herewith attached and marked “Exhibit FF 01”.”
“The Plaintiff avers that he suffered severe and excruciating pain as a result of the sprain he suffered on his right knee that led to application of POP cast which would last 4 – 6 weeks subject to his Doctor’s advice.”
“The Plaintiff avers that prior to the application of P.O.P on my right knee; the doctor who attended to me ordered an X-ray/MRI scan on my knee. The image of the X-ray/MRI scan is contained in a Compact Disc.”
“The Plaintiff avers that he paid for various sums for different medical procedures as listed hereunder: Registration: N2, 500.00; XRAY RT Knee: N3, 500.00; POP Application: N30, 000.00; Final Payment on Admission: N173, 580.00.”
“The Plaintiff pleads and will at the trial of this matter, rely on copies of the receipts issued by the National Hospital, Abuja in respect of the above payments, herewith attached and duly marked “Exhibits FF 02, FF 03, FF 04 & FF 05 respectively.”
“The Plaintiff avers that owing to the severity of the sprain, he was placed on crutches. In line with the Plaintiff’s Doctor’s advice, he has been walking with the aid of crutches and would only stop on further advice from his Doctors.”
“The Plaintiff avers that he was also issued Remita Retrieval Reference Invoices prior to the payment of the sums of N30, 000.00 and N173, 580.00 respectively. The Plaintiff pleads and shall at the trial of this matter, rely on the receipts of the
National Hospital Abuja issued to him evidencing payment for the items listed in the preceding paragraph herewith attached and marked “Exhibits FF 06 & FF 07 respectively”.”
“The Plaintiff avers that he was also issued an Inpatient Statement of Account from 26/10/2017 to 27/10/2017. The Plaintiff pleads and shall at the trial of this matter, rely on the said Inpatient Statement of Account of the National Hospital, Abuja herewith attached and marked “Exhibit FF 08”.”
“The Plaintiff specifically avers that he experiences severe and excruciating pain when he is walking from one point to the other. The Plaintiff avers that the Defendant’s negligence caused the accident which led to the severe sprain on his right knee.”
“The Defendant is the Federal Capital Development Authority, a body established by an Act of the National Assembly with a duty to construct and maintain such roads, railways, sidings, tramways, bridges, reservoirs, water courses, buildings, plant and machinery and such other works as may be necessary for, or conducive to, the discharge of its functions under the Act establishing it.”
Falana is seeking the following reliefs against the Defendant:
a) A DECLARATION of this Honourable Court that the Defendant’s negligence, to wit their failure to ensure the Plaintiff’s safety on Sheu Shagari Way, Maitama District, Abuja by covering up the man hole on that street led to the accident which caused a severe sprain on the Plaintiff’s right knee.
b) AN ORDER of this Honourable Court directing the Defendant to cover up all uncovered man holes in the Federal Capital Territory.
c) AN ORDER of this Honourable Court directing the Defendant to pay the Plaintiff the sum of N209, 580.00 (Two Hundred and Nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty Naira only) as specific damages.
d) AN ORDER of this Honourable Court directing the Defendant to pay the Plaintiff the sum of N100, 000,000.00k (One Hundred Million only) as general damages.
No date is fixed for the hearing of the suit.