Chief Judge faces lawsuit over death of young lawyer killed by lawless court driver

Posted by News Express | 27 December 2013 | 4,712 times

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Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Justice Ibrahim Auta, may soon find himself in court for ignoring the demand for compensation by the family of a promising young lawyer killed by a lawless court driver.

The life of Barrister Joseph Nnaemeka Ogenyi, 29, was cut short 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. His family’s letter to Justice Auta demanding N500 million compensation from the driver’s employees, the Federal High Court, Abuja, was ignored.

In a reminder letter dated November 13, 2013, a copy of which is in the possession of News Express, Barrister Ogenyi’s family warned that it would not wait indefinitely for a response to its demand. The letter by the family’s attorney, the Abuja-based Anthony Oka & Associates, reads as follows:


‘We refer to our letter dated the 22nd day of October 2013 to which we have not received any reply from you, Sir.

‘Our decision to address the letter in question to you was not borne out of any disrespect to your office. It was based on our appreciation of the provisions of Section 1 of the Federal High Court Act which specifically states that “The Chief Judge ….shall have overall control and supervision of the administration of the Court”. It is thus your supervisory role over the administration of the court and as Head of the Court that informed our decision to formally address our letter to you, Sir.

‘The purpose of this subsequent letter is to inform your lordship that our client Joseph Nnaemeka Ogenyi Esq. was knocked down and killed by the Federal High Bus with Registration No. HC184FJ driven by Mr. Ekenedirichukwu Ojukwu, a driver in the service of the Court.

‘The additional information we wish to bring to the notice of your lordship is that the said bus was being driven against the run of traffic in what is usually described as “one way lane” in Port Harcourt Rivers State when it knocked down and eventually killed our client.

‘We have as counsel maintained a news blackout or cover over the incident because as practitioners in the same court we feel it is our duty to save the court from unnecessary negative publicity or news concerning its personnel. We feel that negative news (no matter the angle it comes from) eventually rubs off on the overall image and integrity of the system.

‘Notwithstanding all the above, we will not wait indefinitely for our demand to be addressed properly. We trust that your lordship will do all in his power to ensure that this matter is resolved speedily.’

•Photo shows late Barrister Joseph Nnaemeka Ogenyi.

Source: News Express

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