The wife of the Medical Director of Excel Medical Centre, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, Dr Ifeayinwa Orji, who was charged alongside her husband, Ejike, for the alleged attempted murder of 17-year-old Somtochukwu Ezi-Ashi, was on Thursday freed by the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, Lagos Island.
While the court discharged and acquitted Ifeayinwa, her husband would be re-arraigned on an amended charge by the Lagos State Government.
PUNCH Metro had reported that the couple, who were arraigned on four counts of attempted murder, causing grievous harm and negligent act causing harm, were alleged to have fixed a plaster of Paris too tightly on Somtochukwu’s leg at their hospital on July 26, 2018, which caused him grievous harm.
The couple, who were not orthopaedic specialists, were accused of recklessly administering orthopaedic treatments to the teenager from his upper thigh to his toe and refusing to remove the POP when they were asked to do so.
The prosecution alleged that the couple deliberately removed the POP in a manner that put Somtochukwu’s life at risk.
It added that they unlawfully inflicted wounds on the left leg of the victim when they lacerated his toe with a saw blade and still concealed the wound.
However, at the resumed proceedings on Thursday, the Director of Public Prosecution, Yaqub Oshoala, informed the court of an application dated February 11,2020, stating that the prosecution had an amended charge against Ejike, while noting that Ifeayinwa would no longer be prosecuted.
Following the application of the prosecutor, the defence counsel, Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), urged the court to free Ifeayinwa.
The presiding judge, Justice Adedayo Akintoye, granted the request.
He ruled, “In view of an application of discontinuance dated February 11, 2020, by the prosecution, the application is granted as prayed and Dr Mrs Ifeayniwa Grace Orji, is hereby discharged and acquitted.”
The mother of the victim, Ngozi Ezi-Ashi, had told the court that there was a large gash on Somtochukwu’s big toe and blisters all over his four toes and at the back of his leg that had busted.
She said the wounds were oozing out sticky liquids when Ejike cut open a part of the cast at the back of her son’s leg, adding that the victim had 12 surgeries and 135 switches on the leg.
Ngozi, during cross-examination by the defendant’s counsel, Ayorinde, told the court that she wrote a petition to the Medical Council of Nigeria against the defendants.
Justice Akintoye adjourned the case till April 1, 2020, for continuation of trial.