An Igbosere High Court in Lagos on Thursday discharged and acquitted a medical practitioner, Grace Orji, for allegedly attempting to murder a 17-year-old patient.
Justice Adedayo Akintoye, discharged and acquitted Orji after the Prosecution Counsel, Mr Yaqub Oshoala, amended a four-count charge earlier filed against the defendant and her husband, Dr Ejike Orji.
They were arraigned on a four-count charge, bordering on attempted murder, causing grievous harm and negligent act, causing harm.
At the resumed hearing on Thursday, Oshoala from the office of the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), told court that the state had an amended charges against the first defendant, Ejike.
The DPP then applied that the first defendant should be re-arraigned to take his plea.
While responding to the application, the defendant’s Counsel, Mr Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), applied that the second defendant be discharged and acquitted.
In his ruling, the judge said: “In view of an application of discontinuance, dated February, 2020 by the prosecution, the application is granted as prayed and Dr Mrs Ifeyinwa Grace Orji, is hereby discharged and acquitted.
“Dr Ejike Orji, will be re-arraigned on the next adjourned date.”
Akintoye, adjourned the case until April 1 for continuation of trial.
Mrs Ngozi Ezi-Ashi, the mother of the victim and third prosecution witness, told court that she wrote a petition against the defendants to seek justice for her son.
On Jan. 21, the witness had during her examination-in-chief, told the court that her son had 12 surgeries and 135 switches in his left leg.
She said there was a sticky liquid coming out of her son’s leg after the first defendant cut open a part of the cast at the back of the leg.
Ezi-Ashi said that there were blisters all over his four toes and a blister at the back of his leg that burst and oozed sticky liquid.
She said they took the boy to other hospitals to seek more medical attention.
During the defendant’s arraignment, the Lagos State Prosecutor, Mr Babatunde Sunmonu, had told the court that the defendants committed the offences on July 26, 2018 at Excel Medical Centre in Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The state prosecutor said that the defendants attempted to murder 17-year-old Somtochukwu Ezi-Ashi by unlawfully and negligently causing grievous bodily harm to his left leg.
According to the prosecutor, the duo caused grievous harm to the boy by fixing a Plaster of Paris (POP) cast too tight on his leg without his consent nor that of his parents.
The prosecutor said that two doctors who were not orthopedic specialists, recklessly administered orthopedic medical treatment to the minor from his upper thigh to his toes and deliberately refused to remove the POP when requested to do so.
He said that the defendants deliberately removed the POP in a manner that put the life of the boy at risk.
The offences, he said, contravened Sections 230, 245, 251 and 252 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Silas Nwoha