Two Medical Doctors Arraigned for Alleged Involuntary Manslaughter

Funke Olaode

Two medical doctors, Michael Atiba and Ugbeye Michael were yesterday arraigned before the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja over alleged involuntary manslaughter of a patient, Ejiro Ugorobi.

Atiba, a doctor at the Gbagada General Hospital and one Dr Michael, a consultant with the National Orthopaedic Hospital also based in Lagos are facing the charge preferred against them by the Lagos state government.

The State prosecution counsel A. O. Azeez, told the court that the offence happened on October 21, 2023. He said that the incident took place at about 12:30 pm, at No 20, Michael Adekoya Street, Ilupeju area of the  State.

The prosecutor told the court that both Atiba and Michael unlawfully caused the death of on Ugorobi by negligent application of anaesthesia before surgery and after surgery.

According to the prosecutor, the offence committed contravened Section 224 of the criminal law of Lagos State 2015. However, the duo pleaded not guilty to the charge against them. Thereafter Azeez, asked the court for a trial date.

He said: ” In view of the plea of the  defendants we are asking for a trial date.”

Meanwhile, lawyers to the defendants informed the court of their bail applications both dated March 22 and 21, 2023, respectively.

 The counsel to the first  defendant (Atiba), Dr. Mike .O (SAN), 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, he is a medical doctor and he is into the business of saving lives and not taking lives. He is not a flight risk that he would not present himself for trial.”

The counsel for the second defendant (Michael )A. O. Fayemi, while moving the application for bail dated March 21, 2024, asked the court to grant his client bail on self recognisance.

Fayemi stated that the application was on six grounds of 31 paragraphs, adding that the first 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, he has a clinic at Ilupeju, he is a person who will present himself for trial, I urge your lordship to grant him bail on liberal terms”.

In a bench  ruling Justice Oyindamola Ogala granted the defendants bail in the sum of N5 million , each, with two sureties each in like sum.

Ogala said that the sureties must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction, present credible home and office addresses as well as credible financial status.

She also ordered the sureties to present the BVN and NIN, payment of tax to Lagos State government, and explain their relationship with the defendants. Consequently the judge adjourned  the case till May 15, 2024 for trial.

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