A teenager, Hamsatu Abdullahi, has won an N200 million judgment against Nigerian telecommunications giant Mtn and Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO).
The suit with reference No. YBS/D/HC2/001/2021 was filed on behalf of Hamsatu by her father, Abdullahi Koki, a minor who was electrocuted by a second defendant’s electricity cable in front of their house despite protests at the first defendant’s building of a mast in the same position.
Because of the 2012 event in Chumbusko village in Karasuwa Local Government in Yobe State, little Hamsatu’s hands and right leg were amputated, leaving her permanently handicapped. Hamsatu was granted N200 Million in damages against MTN Nigeria Ltd and NELMCO by Justice Mallam Lawu Lawan in his ruling.
Lawan ruled: “I hold that the plaintiff has duly established by oral and documentary credible and unchallenged evidence against the defendants. I equally hold that the plaintiff is entitled to claims from the defendants jointly and severally as compensating or general damages for the permanent disablement via the loss of her two hands, right leg, continuous pains, medical treatment, anguish, shock and continuous psychological trauma and loss of amenities of life caused by the defendants’ act and omissions.
“Therefore, the sum of two hundred million naira (N200,000,000.00) is hereby awarded against the defendants jointly and severally in favour of the plaintiff. The particulars of heads of the damages is as follows:
1. Loss of earnings, pains, and suffering – N10,000,000.00
2. Loss of capacity for enjoyment of life – N10,000,000.00
3. Shortening of expectation of life – N10,000,000.00
4. Cost of keeping a servant to assist the plaintiff – N10,000,000.00
5. General damages – N150,000,000.00
6. Cost of action – N10,000,000.00
Counsel to the plaintiff, Ahmed Igoche, said he was happy with the judgment because it involves a teenage girl from a remote village and a multi-million company like MTN and NELMCO.
He said, “What gives my joy for this judgement is the status of the people that are involved in this case and our defendants. This is a girl from a remote village in Karasuwa with very poor family background. So what this judgement has taught us is to respect the Law and that the Law can bring you down no matter how high you are”.