Nigeria: A Pastor’s triple trouble -Rev Elijah Esei

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Injured in auto-crash, leg amputated, detained over N1.5m hospital bill

WHEN Rev  Elijah Esei left Lagos for Ebonyi State on 2 July, 2012  to accord his late mother a befitting burial, little did he know that he may end up at the Accident and Emergency Ward of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital {UBTH).

The 38-year-old cleric, who hails from Ezi-Edda Etiti community, in Afikpo South Local Government of Ebonyi State and head of THE HOPE OF FAITH MISSION based in Lagos,  had traveled with one of the vehicles allegedly belonging to Okeyson Investment Services Ltd. Shortly before Okada, near Benin-City, the vehicle was said to have been  involved in an accident.

Explaining how the accident occurred, he alleged, “The driver was on top speed and every entreaties to him to be  careful and obey road traffic regulations by passengers fell on deaf ears. I was sitting with him in the front and I saw what happened when he was attempting to overtake a trailer  whose driver  would not give him the chance to do so.

“He  rammed into the trailer.  I was one of those seriously injured. We were rushed to the Central Hospital, Benin- City after the accident but I  was later referred to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) due to the seriousness of my case same day, while others with minor injuries were discharged.

“To save my life, one of my legs was amputated. Since then, I have been in hospital, abandoned by the management of Okeyson Investment Services Ltd. I have been discharged by the hospital management since 2, May 2013, but  I cannot leave as the accumulated bill of N1.5million has not been settled.

“I have made several telephone calls to the management of Okeyson Investment Services Ltd to come and off-set the medical expenses to enable me go back to my family in Lagos, but  they have not responded. They claimed they were responsible for the payment for the ambulance vehicle that conveyed me from the Central Hospital, Benin to UBTH and nothing else from them”. Esei went further: “My wife, Sarah, went to meet them at the company headquarters at Jibowu, Yaba, Lagos, but  they refused to see her. They have abandoned me to my fate.  I have not been able to see my child who was also  involved in an accident and unable to walk since January, this year”.

He disclosed that the UBTH management would not allow him to leave and therefore appealed to  public spirited individuals to prevail on Okeyson Investment Services Ltd to off-set the bill since it was the driver  in  its employ  that was responsible for the accident.

Commenting on the fate of  Esei, the National Coordinator of Save Accident Victims Association of Nigeria (SAVAN), Dr. Eddy Ehikhamenor, who has been partly responsible for the care of the accident victim, lamented the abandonment of accident victims by motor transport companies.

“We have persistently made efforts  to reach the transport company to come and pay the medical bill of Rev. Esei but they have rebuffed all our pleas. I have contacted the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Benin-City  to assist the victim by ensuring that vehicles belonging to the company were seized until they positively step into the case, but they have making promises upon promises”, Ehikhamenor said. “I am appealing to the National Assembly to come up with a legislation that would compel motor transport companies whose vehicles are involved in accidents to be held responsible for the outcome of such accidents. This is the only way to bring  sanity  into the operators of transport business in the country”

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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