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Physician testifies in journalist’s suit against customs over assault

By Joseph Onyekwere   |   20 June 2017   |   4:13 am


A medical practitioner, Akintayo Akintoba, yesterday told a Federal High Court in Lagos that series of medical examinations were conducted on a battered journalist, Yomi Olomofe.

Akintoba who was a second witness, gave the oral evidences in a suit against the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) over assault on the journalist. The Lagos branch of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) had filed the suit on Olomofe’s behalf seeking enforcement of his fundamental rights to life, freedom of expression and the press.

Joined as respondents in the suit are the former Comptroller-General of the customs, Abdullahi Diko Nde, the Seme Area Controller, Muhammed Ndalati, and a Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Emmanuel Nkemdirim.

Others are: Ibrahim Turaki of the Seme command, Sam Madubueke, Suleiman Momoh, as well as a duo simply identified as Elijah and Shehu.The applicant is claiming N500 million as damages against the NCS for the assault he suffered at Seme.At the last adjourned date on April 25, Olomofe had given oral evidence and recounted how some customs officers at Seme Border physically assaulted him.

When trial resumed on Monday, counsel to Olomofe, Jiti Ogunye, called on a second witness for the applicant Akintoba who said he was a Medical Officer of Health (MOH) with the Lagos State Government, adding that he practices as a family physician, and takes care of emergency situations at first instance.

He told the court that he received a call on June 25, 2015 from a Rotary Club member, one Taiwo, informing him of an attack on Olomofe by some hoodlums at the Seme Customs in Badagry.

The witness said Olomofe was a close friend he had known since 2009, and so, he helped him with free medical services, adding that an ambulance later arrived, conveying the applicant but unfortunately, the health workers were on strike.

He said he, however, assisted in taking the applicant to Care Givers Hospital, where emergency tests were run on him from where he was conveyed to Ajara for a detailed medical examination.

He told the court that considering Olomofe’s condition, he advised him to report to the police for proper documentation.He added that from his assessment, he discovered that he sustained soft tissue injuries on his head.

“Although the results of the CT digital skull x-ray appeared normal, a victim could still suffer from a post-traumatic stress syndrome,” Akintoba added.Justice Anka adjourned cross-examination till July 13, 2017.




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