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Journalist sues NNPC, claims N12m

05 February 2013, 07:36

Abuja - Mr Geoffrey Anika, a former employee of the Federal Radio Corporation (FRCN, on Monday prayed the Federal High Court, Abuja, to compel NNPC to pay him N12 million compensation.

Anika, a former Manager, News, FRCN Headquarters, Abuja, said the amount was for the losses he suffered from a crash caused by the concrete road block/barrier mounted in front of NNPC Towers.

The plaintiff said that his Peugeot 406 with registration number DP41EKY and Chassis number VF38BR6F38140275, was damaged beyond repairs in the accident.

He said that the vehicle was bought at about N5 million.

The Federal Government and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) are listed as nominal parties in the suit.

Anika said that on April 1, 2012, at about 11.30a.m., while going to work at Radio House, he drove along the road passing
through the first defendant’s building located at the Central Business District and there was no blockage.

He said that he used the road everyday to work and was therefore conversant with that portion of the road to be without concrete barriers.

The plaintiff said that the road block/barrier was mounted by officials of the first defendant (NNPC) to protect its tower on the evening of that fateful day.

Anika further said that the concrete road block was mounted suddenly and without necessary road signs or warnings to road users.

The plaintiff said that having been using the road daily without encountering any obstruction, he did not anticipate any such danger.

He explained that the barrier was without lights to indicate the sign of ``danger ahead’’.

The plaintiff also averred that it was shortly after the accident that the officials of the NNPC, who mounted the barrier, went to put road signs and warnings.

The plaintiff said that he was rushed to the hospital by passers-by, adding that the first defendant abandoned him.

The plaintiff said that the police investigation and eyewitness account confirmed that the barrier was mounted by the first defendant (NNPC).

Anika averred that he was barred from meeting up with all his engagements and appointments following the accident and his subsequent hospitalisation.

The plaintiff said that the crash had left him with a permanent chest pain that required further operation and treatment.
Anika said that the nonchalant disposition of the NNPC toward his complaint compelled the litigation, adding ``they also failed
to respond to the letter sent to them by my lawyer.’’

Justice Edward Chuckwu adjourned the case to March 5 for further hearing.

Mr Oluwasuen Oriowo, counsel to the second and the third defendants (Federal Government and Attorney-General of the Federation), sought the adjournment in order to file a statement of defence.

However, the first defendant was not represented.

Oriowo advised Malachy Nwaekpe, counsel to the plaintiff, to ensure that all parties were served the writ of summons.

- NAN

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