Lawyer Writes NCC, Demands Sanctions For Airtel Company Over Blast Victims In Lagos

Dr Olubunmi Odeniyi, the human rights lawyer representing the four victims of an explosion at the Airtel Networks Limited base station at Ikotun in Lagos State has written to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), seeking sanctions against the telecoms company.

 

 

Odeniyi, who is the lead counsel for the victims, in a letter dated April 22, 2024, urged the NCC to “levy appropriate sanctions by way of fines as a deterrence” to others.

 

 

The letter was titled, “Official Report/Complaint of Negligent and Reckless Operation of Airtel at its Base Station (BTS LAG 767) at No.15/19, Abiodun Ibidapo Street, Asalu Bus-stop, Abaranje, Ikotun, Lagos State on Tuesday, 19 March, 2024, Causing an inferno resulting in severe life-changing burns on four people.”

 

 

Odeniyi in the letter urged the telecom regulatory commission to “Order the immediate closure and cessation of operations at the site to maintain the integrity of the site for appropriate investigation by your Commission and other concerned statutory bodies.”

 

He further stated that “Airtel management have refused to engage the injured in any manner to assuage their desperate medical emergency,” and therefore pleaded with NCC to “Direct Airtel management to immediately initiate urgent and rehabilitative medical remediation of our clients.”

 

 

The lawyer said in the letter, “We are solicitors/counsel to the four (4 Nos.) innocent passers-by who were severely burned in a fire that broke out at the Airtel Base Station at No. 15/19, Abiodun Ibidapo Street, Asalu Bus-stop, Abaranje, Ikotun, Lagos State on Tuesday, 19 March, 2024. They are Messrs. Feranmi Nureni Oluwatoba; Saheed Adeleke; Franklin Obade and Saheed Raji.

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“Our Clients were rushed to various hospitals in the vicinity where sporadic and altogether inadequate services are being done hamstrung by the lack of financial capacity by the victims and their families.

 

 

“The cause of the explosion was the reckless manner of operations on the site whereat a welder was welding a tank and a diesel supplier making a delivery of fuel at the same Airtel site.

 

 

“We have brought this dire situation to the attention of Airtel by our duly acknowledged letter dated 2 April, 2024 but Airtel management have refused to engage the injured in any manner to assuage their desperate medical emergency.”

 

 

According to Odeniyi, “Our Clients are currently undergoing intense pain and suffering, discomforts, disfigurement, neglect, losses of income and unplanned daily mounting medical bills.”

 

 

He stated that “Our humble request to your Commission is to pro-actively intervene in the following manner:

 

 

“Order the immediate closure and cessation of operations at the site to maintain the integrity of the site for appropriate investigation by your Commission and other concerned statutory bodies;

 

 

“Direct Airtel management to immediately initiate urgent and rehabilitative medical remediation of our Clients; further direct Airtel to promptly and adequately compensate the injured; and levy appropriate sanctions by way of fines as a deterrence.

 

“Our clients rely on your Commission as their conditions cannot survive with a protracted court litigation which will only favor Airtel.”

 

However, at the time of filing this report, it was not clear whether Airtel Network has been notified of the petition.

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