Student sues Army for N1bn after losing leg to soldier’s bullet

A student, Emmanuel Madubuezi, has sued the Nigerian Army for N1bn for losing his leg after being shot by a soldier.

Other defendants in the suit are the Chief of Army Staff, the Attorney General of the Federation, and a betting company, Bet9ja.

Madubuezi, through his lawyer, Temitope Akinyode, filed a suit before the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, on Tuesday.

The victim was hit on September 14, 2017, while seated in a tricycle on his way to the Port Harcourt Polytechnic, where he was studying at the time.

The bullet pierced through his left leg and hit an elderly woman seated next to him. The impact of the bullet made the elderly woman fall out of the tricycle leading to her death.

In the case, suit number: FHC/PH/FHR/118/2020, the applicant is asking the court to declare that the gunshot fired at him and the amputation of his leg contravene his fundamental human right to life, human dignity and freedom of movement.

In a supporting affidavit, the applicant said he had been confined to crutches since the incident happened

Madubuezi said, “Since the amputation of my leg I have been condemned to walking on crutches. But for the sound medical treatment that I received, the gunshots which the officers and agents of the respondents fired at me on September 14, 2017, could have led to my death just as the same bullets killed the woman who sat beside me in the tricycle.”

Earlier in the year, the Army had rejected Madubuezi’s request to be paid N150m as damages.

In the letter with reference number AHQ DCMA/G1/300/130 signed by Brig.Gen Emmanuel Aladeniyi, on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, the army authorities said the soldier who shot Madubuezi had been charged.

The Army, therefore, stated that it could not be held liable for the action of an errant soldier.

Narrating what transpired, the army said a soldier, Corporal Augustine Jacob, and 11 soldiers were deployed to Stalling Oil Company to provide protection for a property.

It said one Mr. Amadi illegally procured the services of Corporal Jacob and four other soldiers to settle a fracas at his Bet9ja shop at Big Tree Market in Port Harcourt.

The army said on arrival at the Bet9ja office, the corporal went upstairs while the others remained downstairs and it was at this point that a bullet was released from one of the soldiers downstairs.

It said investigation revealed that the action of the soldier who mistakenly pulled the trigger resulted in the shooting of Madubuezi.

The victim was subsequently taken to Life Fort Hospital but could not be admitted due to limited bed space and then to Braithwaite and Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital before his leg was amputated at Holy Trinity Hospital on September 25, 2017.

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