A resident, James Ojogbane, and his family have sued the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) before an FCT High Court, Jabi, for allegedly causing the death of his wife, Mary, on September 1, 2015.
Joined in the suit by 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 death.
According to Onoja, Emokah lodged a complainant at the AEPB against Ojogbane and family, saying that their goat was disturbing them.
He said Emokah particularly complained of his car park, which, he said, the goat usually defecated on.
He said the AEPB staff investigated the premises following the report.
Onoja said one of the AEPB task force officials pushed the deceased under the guise of enforcing environmental law.
He said 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.
Collins said the notice was given to the family on August 25, 2015, after the AEPB task force carried out investigation on the premises.
According to him, the AEPB task force 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 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 task force 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 task force officials.
He added that sections 28(D), 35(1) (D) (H) and 20(B) of the AEPB Act forbid the sale and rearing of animals in an open place.
Collins added that Section 36 of the Act “empowers the task force to carry out their statutory mandate where a person refuses 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.
The Presiding judge, Justice Halilu Yusuf, however, adjourned the matter till May 11, for hearing. (NAN)