An Abuja resident, James Ojogbane, and his family, has sued the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB, before an FCT High Court Jabi for allegedly causing the death of his wife, Mary James, on September 1, 2015.
Joined in the suit by Mr. Ojogbane, a retired police officer, were one Isah Umar, Ibrahim Ahmed, both staff of the AEPB, and Chima Emokah, a neighbour.
The plaintiff had told the court through his lawyer, Emmanuel Onoja, that the push on his wife by the environmental staff led to her untimely death.
According to Mr. Onoja, Mr. Emokah lodged a complainant at the AEPB against Mr. Ojogbane and family, saying that their goat was disturbing them.
Mr. Onoja said that Mr. Emokah particularly complained of his car park, which he said the goat usually defecated on.
He said the AEPB staff commenced investigations on the premises following the report.
According to Mr. Onoja, one of the AEPB taskforce pushed the deceased under the guise of enforcing environmental law in the FCT.
Mr. Onoja said that the push on the woman made her to fall and was immediately rushed to the Wuse General Hospital where she died same day.
However, AEPB counsel, Azih Collins, told the court that an earlier notice was issued to the Ojogbane family to remove the goat from the premises.
Mr. Collins said that the notice was given to the family on August 25, 2015, after the AEPB taskforce carried out investigation on the premises.
According to Mr. Collins, the AEPB taskforce on September 1, 2015, went into action to clean up the environment when they noticed that the family did not comply with the earlier notice.
He, however, said that officials of the AEPB did not push the deceased as claimed by her husband when they visited the premises.
He added that it was the deceased who fought the taskforce officials in a bid to retrieve the goat from them when they were about taking it away.
Collins said the woman consequently fell in the process, stressing that she was not at any time, pushed by the taskforce officials.
He added that sections 28(D), 35(1)(D)(H) and 20(B) of the AEPB Act forbid to sale and rear animals in an open place.
Collins said that Section 36 of the Act empowers the taskforce to carry out their statutory mandate where a person refused to comply with their instructions.
He further said that section 36(2) enumerates the punishment to anyone who violates the AEPB rules.
According him, an autopsy carried out on the deceased, revealed that she died of long age illness.
The autopsy, he said, also revealed that the woman had been battling with heart problem for a very long time.
Justice Halilu Yusuf of the court, however, adjourned the matter till May 11 for hearing.