By Alemeru Mathew Adekunle, Esq
In a world marred by the dualities of good and evil, humans bear the divine responsibility to combat malevolence relentlessly. This duty becomes imperative in the face of callous acts, particularly those perpetrated within the healthcare sector.
The narrative unfolds tragically with the untimely demise of Barrister Mercy Chidinma Uzonwanne, shedding light on the broken state of Nigeria’s health system and the ultimate triumph of justice.
The Tragic Story:
The late Barrister Chidinma, a vibrant member of the Nigeria Bar Association Gwagwalada Branch, fell victim to the negligence of Dr. Jide Kudehinbu during what should have been a routine surgery at the Nigeria Air Force Base hospital in Abuja. Deceived and misled, she underwent the procedure at Dr Kudehinbu’s ill-equipped private hospital, Medimore Hospital in Lugbe.
The consequences were dire. Post-surgery, Chidinma faced alarming difficulties in breathing and endured an unbearable smell emanating from her mouth due to a punctured intestine.
Despite her pleas and deteriorating health, Dr. Kudehinbu callously reassured her, leading to a desperate return to the NAF hospital and, eventually, the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital.
The Quest for Justice:
The Nigerian Bar Association, Gwagwalada Branch, led by Chairman Emeritus Isah Abubakar Aliyu, played a pivotal role in seeking justice for Barrister Chidinma. After autopsies and investigations, Dr. Kudehinbu faced charges of unprofessional conduct under the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act of 2004 and the Code of Medical Ethics. His guilty plea marked a significant victory for justice.
Verdict and Impact:
The Tribunal’s September 24, 2022, verdict saw Dr. Kudehinbu convicted on all seven counts, resulting in a suspension from medical practice. The sentence reflects the gravity of his offences and serves as a crucial step towards accountability in the healthcare sector.
A Call for Healing and Leadership:
As we reflect on this tragic incident, it is essential to acknowledge the countless victims whose stories often go untold. The courageous efforts of the NBA Gwagwalada Branch, particularly Isah Abubakar Aliyu, Esq., highlight the importance of individuals standing up against injustice.
Isah Abubakar Aliyu Esq’s rumoured bid for the position of General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association brings hope for continued leadership that fights for justice. Such leadership is crucial for ensuring that individuals like Barrister Chidinma receive the justice they deserve and that the broken aspects of the healthcare system are mended.
The late Barrister Mercy Chidinma Uzonwanne’s story is a stark reminder of the challenges within Nigeria’s health sector. Yet, her pursuit of justice, fueled by the relentless efforts of the NBA Gwagwalada Branch, demonstrates that triumph is possible even in the face of tragedy.
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION, MR YAKUBU CHONOKO MAIKYAU, OON, SAN, DELIVERED AT THE VALEDICTORY COURT SESSION HELD IN HONOUR OF THE LATE HONOURABLE JUSTICE EDITH NOELITA NNEKA AGBAKOBA ON 10 OCTOBER 2023 AT THE SUPREME COURT COMPLEX, ABUJA
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