A high court in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State, has awarded N200 million as compensation to a 12-year-old girl Hamsatu Abdullahi, who was electrocuted by a cable belonging to the telecommunication giant, MTN.
The Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) is a co-defendant in the suit.
The injuries Miss Abdullahi sustained in the incident led to the amputation of both her hands and one of her legs.
Her father Abdullahi Koki sought redress from the high court after her daughter’s electrocution at an MTN facility in front of the plaintiff’s house.
The Mr Koki said he had complained about the citing of a mast in front of his house but was ignored.
The incident occurred in 2012 at Chumbusko Village in the Karasuwa Local Government Area of Yobe State.
The judge, Lawu Lawan, awarded the N200 million damages jointly and against MTN Nigeria Ltd and Nigeria Electricity Liability Management in favour of Hamsatu.
The judgement read in part:
“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 particular 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 – 10,000,000.00
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”, Justice Lawan said.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Ahmed Igoche, said he was happy with the judgement because it involves a minor from a remote village and a multi-million company like MTN and NELMCO.
“What gives me 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 a 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,” Mr Igoche said.