Lagos arraigns medical doctors for alleged manslaughter

The Lagos State Government on Monday arraigned two medical doctors, Michael Atiba and Michael Ugbeye, before an Ikeja High Court over alleged involuntary manslaughter of a patient, Ejiro Ugorobi.

Atiba is a doctor at the Gbagada General Hospital and Ugbeye is a consultant with a national orthopaedic hospital.

They are facing a count charge of involuntary manslaughter preferred against them by the Lagos State Government.

The defendants, whose residential addresses were not given, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The State Counsel, Olalekan Azeez, asked for a trial date, following their not guilty plea.

Azeez told the court that the defendants unlawfully caused the death of Ugorobi by neglect application of anaesthetic before and after surgery.

He submitted that the defendants allegedly committed the offence on October 21, 2023 at about 12:30pm at 20, Michael Adekoya Street, Ilupeju, Lagos.

The counsel to the first defendant told the court that he filed a bail application dated March 22, 2024 and urged the court to grant Atiba bail on liberal terms.

He said: “We are pleading that the first defendant be admitted to bail because he is a medical doctor and he is into the business of saving lives and not taking lives.

“He is not at any risk that he would not present himself for trial.

“I move in terms of the motion.”

The second defence counsel, A. O. Fayemi, moved the application for bail dated March 21, 2024 and urged the court to grant his client bail on self recognition.

Fayemi, in his 31 paragraph affidavit, said the second defendant had served the nation as a consultant orthopaedic for over 30 years.

He said: “The second defendant is a consultant who has served this nation as a consultant orthopaedic with the national orthopaedic hospital.

“He is not a young man that would not attend court.

“He is a consultant medical practitioner and he has a clinic at Ilupeju.

“He is a person who will present himself for trial and I urge your lordship to grant him bail on libra terms.”

Justice Oyindamola Ogala, in her ruling, granted the defendants N5 million bail each with two sureties each in like sum.

Ogala said the sureties must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction.

She added that the sureties must present credible home and office addresses as well as credible financial status.

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Ogala ordered the sureties to present their BVN and NIN, evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government, and explain their relationship with the defendants.

The judge adjourned the case until May 15 for commencement of trial.

According to the prosecution, the alleged offence contravenes Section 224 of the criminal law of Lagos State, 2015.

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