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The couple were arraigned by the Lagos State Government on a three-count charge of grievous harm, recklessness and negligence causing harm.

Prosecuting counsel Babatunde Sumonu told Justice Adedayo Akintoye that the first defendant, Ejike, the medical director of Excel Medical Centre, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos and second defendant, Grace, allegedly committed the offences last July 26 at their medical centre.

He alleged that the defendants, who were not orthopaedic specialists, recklessly administered orthopaedic medical treatment on Somitochukwu Ezi-Ashi.

The court heard that the doctors allegedly injured Ezi-Ashi by fixing a Plaster of Paris (POP) cast too tightly on his leg.

The defendants, Sumonu added, were negligent while administering the treatment on the boy’s leg.

According to him, the minor has lost normal use of the leg.

The offence, the prosecutor said, contravened sections 245, 251 and 252 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Ejike and Ifeyinwa pleaded not guilty.

Their counsel, Mr. K.C. Okwu, said the court should admit his clients to bail on self-recognisance.

He said both defendants were doctors with 30 years experience.

He said Ejike was a consultant surgeon and had a traditional title, while Ifeyinwa was a paediatrician.

“Both defendants have no criminal record whatsoever. Besides, they have known the patient for a very long time and could never have harmed him. I urge the court not to remand them in prison. I assure the court that they will appear in court anytime they are needed,” Okwu added.

But Sumonu opposed them, saying the defendants had produced no evidence to prove that they had the qualifications claimed.

He alleged: “The first defendant has attached no evidence to his bail application that he is a traditional ruler. If the defendant is a traditional ruler, it should have been gazetted in the Federal Government gazette. There is no such gazette before the court.

“There is no evidence to that effect and there is no certificate to prove that the defendants are doctors or surgeons.

“The defendants’ negligence damaged the boy’s leg. He had to be flown abroad for surgery. If his family had not been able to raise funds to fly him abroad, he could have lost his life. I urge my lord not to grant them bail on self recognisance”.

In a bench ruling, Justice Akintoye granted each defendant N500,000 bail with two sureties in the like sum, among other conditions.

She, however, declined to remand the defendants in prison custody, pending fulfilment of bail conditions.







@ The Nation

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