The family of Oluchi Anekwe, a 300-level student of Accounting at the University of Lagos, who was electrocuted by a live wire in the school premises, has been paid N45m as compensation for their loss. According to Punch, the money was paid after the Eko Electricity Distribution Company reached a non-disclosure agreement with the victim’s family.
The sad incidence of Oluchi’s death occurred in September 2015 around 7pm while she was returning from an evening mass with her younger sister. Oluchi had reportedly entered the Eni Njoku Hall to buy something and was walking out of the hostel when a high-tension wire fell on her.
The remains of the Igbo-Etiti, Enugu State indigene, were buried shortly after. Meanwhile, the Federal Government set up a panel to investigate her death and a Lawyer Femi Falana, reportedly took up the case. He was the one who wrote to EKEDC, asking that the firm compensate the family of the deceased or risk litigation.
After series of meetings, the power company obliged and settled the family. They paid N45m to Oluchi’s family in an agreement that they have chosen not to disclose to the general public.
“The reasoning is that if it is publicized, it could encourage people who have similar grievances to insist on monetary settlements. That might not augur well for the company. The victim’s younger sister has also been flown abroad for treatment for the injuries she sustained in the incident.”
Surprisingly, Oluchi’s father, Chief Basil Anekwe, refused to confirm if any money was paid to his family. Instead he complained that the victim’s younger sister was abandoned in an American hospital. He wondered where the information came from, stating that he was in Enugu and has no idea what there were talking about.
Further probing by Newsmen was fruitless as the bereaved father insisted that no one should ask him anything concerning the death of his daughter or about any compensation. Rather, the media should go and confirm from the person that gave them the information as he has nothing to say to that regard.
Mr Anekwe said he stopped the negotiation process because his daughter was abandoned in an American hospital and he had to go and get her.
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The lawyer in charge of the case is yet to confirm the compensation, however, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, EKEDC, Idemudia Godwin, confirmed that there was a settlement and it was done outside court.
Mr. Godwin, however, expressed surprise at the allegation that the company abandoned Oluchi’s sister in an American hospital, saying he was not aware of such.