LASTMA invites injured female passenger as victim demands N500m compensation

The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority has invited Rejoice Udoh, injured in the eye by an official of the agency, for an amicable settlement.

The 22-year-old wig maker was injured during an attack on a commercial minibus she boarded.

A LASTMA official, identified as Kehinde, had smashed the mirror of the bus over a traffic offence, as the glass splattered into her left eye and she was later referred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, where she was admitted for treatment.

The victim demanded that the traffic agency pay her a sum of N500m as compensation through her lawyer, Festus Ogun, in a letter to LASTMA.

The letter read in part, “It is our client’s brief that on January 19, 2022, at about 6pm around the Jibowu area of Lagos State, your official, identified as Kehinde Idowu, for unclear reasons, recklessly, unjustifiably and violently broke the side mirror of the bus commuting our client, which immediately led to life-threatening injuries in her right eye.

“Our client’s eye was left bleeding profusely until she was later rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was rejected, given the grievous damage done to her eye by your official, and subsequently referred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, where she is currently receiving treatment.”

Ogun said the “vicious attack” on his client was a violation of her rights.

“Our client has suffered grievous damage, excruciating pain, mental agony, psychological trauma and excessive loss of sleep caused by her hurting eyes – a form of torture under our extant laws – all resulting from the injuries caused her by your official.

“In the light of the foregoing, we have our client’s instruction to demand and we hereby demand from you as follows: payment of the sum of N500m as compensation for the arbitrary violation of her fundamental rights,” the letter added.

The lawyer also demanded sanctions of the official and a written apology to Udoh, which should be published in a national newspaper.

The traffic agency invited Udoh and her lawyer for a meeting slated for Thursday. The letter was signed by the Director of Legal, LASTMA, Kehinde Akerele.

“In view of your demands, the agency seeks your cooperation and indulgence to make yourself and your client available for a routine meeting to deliberate on all issues raised for an amicable resolution,” Akerele added.

Speaking to PUNCH Metro on Monday, Ogun said his client would honour the invitation, adding that his demands were still valid.

The victim said she was still feeling excruciating pain in her left eye.

“I am not feeling better at all. The eye is not healing,” she said, adding that she had another appointment with her doctor last Friday.


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