Family of the late Nabil Hanga alleges negligence, seeks justice in court
The 26-year-old graduate student died aboard a flight arranged by De Flight Medics, commonly known as Flying Doctors.
The witness, Mrs. Fatima Abdurrahman, told the court presided over by Justice Kazeem Alogba, that the family wants justice over their son’s death.
Accusing the defendants of causing Hanga’s death through negligence, the family is suing for N1.1 billion.
They are demanding a refund of $135,00, which they paid for the air ambulance, and also an order of the court, compelling Royal Cross Medical Centre to pay them N300 million, being damages for loss of income and costs incurred in Hanga’s treatment, among other prayers.
When the matter came up for hearing, Abdurrahman in her testimony, urged the court to “give justice to the deceased and if possible, do something about the misinformation and deceit of Flying Doctors (De Flight Medics Ltd).”
Led in evidence by the claimant’s counsel, Mr. O. Olaniyi, Abdurrahman’s statement on oat was tendered and admitted by the court.
She testified as the claimant’s second witness in a suit filed by the Estate of Hanga Nabil and the deceased’s father, Mr. Mustapher Hanga.
The plaintiffs, in their joint statements of claim, told the court that Dr. Ola Orekunrin, a proclaimed medical doctor, helicopter pilot and founder of Flying Doctors, was not a registered medical doctor in Nigeria.
By that, they said, he was not licenced to practice in the country.
The family also alleged that though she once graduated in medicine from the United Kingdom (UK), but she was suspended by the British Medical Council for gross misconduct, and is currently not registered to practice in the UK.
The family averred that the late Nabil, who went to Royal Cross Medical Centre on May 10, 2012 for treatment, where he was not given urgent tests and the scans ordinarily necessary to establish the extent of his ill health, later died on board the UK- bound plane provided by De Flight Medics.
The family said even though Flying Doctors compelled them to pay an exorbitant sum of $135,000 for an air ambulance, the aircraft belatedly provided by Dr. Ola Orekunrin (now Dr. Ola Brown) and her team was in no way a medicalised air ambulance.
According to the family, it was not equipped with advanced life support equipment, nor did they have the staff and equipment required to safely evacuate the patient.
The plaintiffs further averred that Dr. Shirley Amaechi, who worked at the time at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) clinic and attended to Nabil Hanga, reported that De Flight Medics was to provide a specialist doctor to assess and prepare the patient for evacuation by 5.30a.m on May 12. They added that critical time was lost because the doctor did not arrive until closer to 12.30p.m.
In their statement of defence, Royal Cross Medical Centre and De-Flight Medics denied the allegation, and urged the court to dismiss the claim with substantial cost.
De Flight Medics also denied the claim that its aircraft was not an ambulance, saying the plane was equipped with medical facilities.
Also, Olamide Orekunrin denied that she was not qualified to practice in Nigeria as a medical doctor.
The company and management further denied the extortion allegations.
The judge subsequently adjourned further hearing to February 6, 2019.
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