By Bridget Edokwe
An Ibadan-based lawyer, Barrister Abiodun Amole, has demanded the payment of the sum of N250,000,000 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) from the Nigerian Railway Corporation, as compensation for alleged negligence and breach of contract.
He threatened to commence legal action against the corporation in court if it fails to pay the money within 30 days.
Abiodun said the legal action was necessary as he was one of the passengers who boarded a train that recently ran out of fuel on its way to Lagos from Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
He described the incident as a clear breach of the implied contract Nigerian Railway Corporation entered into with him, to take him to Lagos on schedule.
Hundreds of passengers on the train were stranded for some time as they had to wait in the middle of nowhere for the delivery of fuel to resume the journey.
This led to apprehension considering the high level of insecurity in the country.
According to Daily Post, Amole, in a petition written by his counsel, Olumide Ojedokun and addressed to the Chairman, Nigerian Railway Corporation, explained that he was completely frustrated when the train ran out of fuel.
Ojedokun further revealed in the petition written on behalf of Amole, that the petitioner and other passengers who boarded the train were stranded in the thick forest with all the attendant security implications.
He said his client and other passengers were almost choked to death in the stuffy cabin and were all sweating profusely throughout the time the train got stuck.
He said, “We act as solicitors to Mr. Abiodun Amole, a resident of Ibadan, Oyo State and the Head of Chambers, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) & Co. (hereinafter referred to as “our client”) and we write this letter pursuant to his instructions. We have been informed by our aforementioned client that he boarded your Corporation’s morning train service from Ibadan to Lagos at the Moniya, Ibadan train station on Thursday 10th March, 2022 at 8am and was scheduled to get to Lagos at 10 am.
“Our client was in the first-class cabin and got ticket No. FC 143235 and seat No. C8/21. Our client was travelling to Port Harcourt, Rivers State en route Lagos and had planned to attend to very urgent official matters at his law firm’s Lagos office at Lekki for at least two hours before proceeding to the local wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja to board the Air Peace 2:30 pm flight P47194 from Lagos to Port Harcourt.
“Unfortunately, your Corporation completely frustrated/disrupted our client’s plan to arrive Lagos on schedule on account of its sheer negligence and ineptitude as the train boarded by our client and several other passengers negligently ran out of fuel and consequently broke down during the journey and left our client and the other passengers stranded in the thick forest, for no fault of theirs with all the attendant security implications.
“The ordeal of our client and the other passengers is better imagined than experienced as they were subjected to serious apprehension and fear of a possible imminent violent attack by criminals using forests as their hideout to perpetrate their nefarious activities.
“The development further caused our client untold psychological, mental and emotional trauma as his memory was constantly filled with the worsening security situation in the country characterized by kidnapping, abduction, banditry and ritual killings throughout the period he was stranded along with the other passengers in the forest. Our client and all the other hapless passengers were, so to say, “in the lion’s den”, throughout the turbulent period.
“Our client and all the other passengers almost choked to death in the stuffy cabin and were all sweating profusely throughout the time the train got stuck. It was indeed hell on earth, to put it mildly. The development, we wish to state constitutes the tort of negligence on the part of your Corporation as well as a clear breach of the implied contract it entered into with our client to take him to Lagos on schedule.
“We have our client’s instructions to demand and we hereby accordingly demand the payment of the sum of N250,000,000 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) as compensation on behalf of our client to be paid through this chambers within 30 (Thirty) days of your receipt of this letter, failing which we shall have no option than to perfect our client’s further instructions to commence proceedings against the Nigerian Railway Corporation in the court of law for the tort of negligence and/or breach of contract and seek appropriate declaratory reliefs and heavy damages with all the attendant dire consequences, publicity and embarrassment.”