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RIGHT TO LIFE OF PERSONS AS GUARANTEED UNDER THE LAW IS SACROSANCT

Lawyers Alert V. Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi

FHC/MKD/CS/30/2019


WHETHER THE ACT OF THE RESPONDENT’S CLINIC IN REFUSING TO ADMINISTER

MEDICAL TREATMENT TO VICTIMS OF AN ACCIDENT ON CAMPUS FOR FAILURE TO

PRODUCE VICTIM’S IDENTITY CARD LEADING TO DEATH OF VICTIM DOES NOT

CONTRAVENE SECTION 20 OF THE NATIONAL HEALTH ACT, 2014 AND AMOUNTS

TO A SERIOUS VIOLATION OF THE STUDENT’S RIGHTS TO MEDICAL CARE AND TO

LIFE AS ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

1999?


The authorities of the Federal University of Technology, Makurdi, Benue State on

the 15 th day of August 2018 ordered the compulsory closure of the University

following the alleged crisis that ensued at the campus. A bus driving within the

campus suffered a tire burst thus colliding with a motorcycle that had two

passengers. The bus thereby somersaulted and rammed into students who were

present around the scene of the accident resulting in one instant death and

others sustaining serious injuries. The injured students were rushed to the

University clinic but the hospital management refused to accept/admit them

except identification cards were produced, a move that led to the death of some

of the injured students and sparked off an unrest among the students who felt

aggrieved over the loss of their colleagues owing to the negligence of the hospital

management.


Lawyers Alert, upon being contacted, instituted an action against the council and

Management of the University at the Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi,

seeking an interpretation of the law with regard to:

  • Section 20 of the National Health Act 2014

  • Section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

  • Ethics and practice of the medical profession.

  • Other relevant laws

OUTCOME:

The court in its judgment held that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter,

for nothing has been established by the Applicant to sustain a breach of

fundamental right but rather all that has been established was a case in

negligence which is tortious in nature for which a Federal High court lacks

jurisdiction.

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