University Don Sues Peace Mass Transit, Claims N10m Damages


A Professor of Accounting at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Prof. Michah Chukwuemeka Okafor, has dragged a transport company, Peace Mass Transit Limited, to court, claiming the sum of N10million as special and general damages for the injuries he sustained as a result of alleged recklessness and negligent act of a driver of the company.

The driver’s alleged recklessness while conveying the plaintiff and other passengers to Abuja in a commuter bus belonging to the company, the plaintiff, added, resulted in an accident that affected him.
The accident was said to have occurred on September 17, 2016, along the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, leaving Okafor seriously injured.

Particulars of the special damages indicated that the sum of N613,420 was the hospital expenses the claimant incurred in treating himself.

In the suit no HUM/13/2017, brought before an Abia State High Court, Isuochi, Okafor, who is also the Director of the University’s Bookshop said that he had an appointment to keep in Abuja and decided to board a Peace Mass Transit Limited bus, registration no. AKL 08 ZT at Umuahia. He claimed that but due to the driver’s recklessness, the vehicle collided with a truck on the same lane.

The university don said that he was trapped in the car after the accident, but was eventually brought out and taken to the Okigwe General Hospital and later to Hill Top Clinics, Enugu, a private orthopaedic hospital, where he was hospitalised for six weeks and five days.

Okafor contended that despite the “manifest reckless driving” of the said bus driver that almost rendered him incapacitated, the mass transit company has failed/refused to compensate him for the injuries he sustained.

He therefore prayed the court to order the company to pay him the sum of N10million as special and general damages for the injuries he sustained as a result of the “negligent act of the driver of the defendant company”, which resulted in an accident that affected him.

However, in a 21-paragraph statement of defence, the mass transit company denied owing the university don further responsibility, insisting that “he was fully compensated according to the terms of welfare scheme acceptable to the defendant, which on writing his name on the passenger manifest, the claimant became bound by the terms of the contract clearly spelt out in the passenger manifest. The company therefore urged the court to dismiss the suit as baseless and frivolous.