The Chief Medical Director of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) has been ordered by the Enugu Command of the Nigeria Police Force to produce one Doctor Chibuoke accused of manslaughter.
SaharaReporters had reported that the family of the late Romanus Nwaosu of Amaeta village in Mgbowo, Awgu local government of Enugu state accused Dr Chibuoke and a nurse of killing their mother, Mrs Janet Nwaosu at the UNTH on October 18, 2022.
The family alleged that the said doctor (Chibuoke) and the nurse injected their mother with a drug that killed her less than five minutes after being injected.
According to the family, the accused health practitioners killed the woman even though they were not the ones assigned to take care of the deceased at the hospital.
Miss Augustina Nwaosu, daughter of the late Janet, who was taking care of her before her unfortunate death, lamented that instead of showing remorse for the alleged killing of her mother, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Obinna Onodugo, invited the police to arrest her for complaining and demanding justice.
She admitted that she broke window glasses in anger because one of the health practitioners allegedly responsible for her mother’s death was hiding in a room.
However, the police in a letter with Ref. No CB:3380/ENS/OZ/VOL.1/181 dated October 20, 2022, which was signed by the Divisional Police Officer, Ozalla Division, SP Imo Henry C, directed the CMD to provide the said doctor on Tuesday, October 25, 2022.
SaharaReporters, however, gathered that the Chief Medical Director, Dr Onodugo had yet to produce the doctor as of Thursday morning.
The letter obtained by SaharaReporters read, "This office is investigating a case of alleged suspected Man Slaughter reported by one Nwosu Agustina, daughter of Late Mrs Nwosu Janneth.
"Dr. Chibuoke in Accident and Emergency Department is required to report to my office on the 25th day of October, 2022 at about 1200hrs.
"Your usual co-operation is highly needed."
Meanwhile, sources at Ozalla police division told SaharaReporters that the CMD is threatening to sue the bereaved family for defamation and malicious damage for breaking two windows at the hospital.
The source told SaharaReporters that the DPO had told him (CMD) that if he pressed further with his demand to charge the daughter of the deceased with malicious damage, the hospital should be ready to bring her mother back to life, adding that the issue of damaging windows was caused by the hospital's treatment of the deceased family.
Meanwhile, Augustina, daughter of the late Janet told SaharaReporters that the DPO informed them that he would transfer the case to State Police Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department as he cannot handle the manslaughter case since the CMD doesn't want the matter resolved.
According to her, the police said that the CMD was angry with the family for letting the matter leak to the media.
Augustina had while narrating to SaharaReporters how her mother was allegedly killed, said, "On Sunday, October 16, 2022, my mother started stooling and vomiting. I took her to UNTH around 2:00 pm. When we got there, she was admitted around 7:00 pm by Dr Obumneme Emmanuel who also gave us some prescriptions which we bought at the pharmacy. They started the medication, and she slept very well that very night.
"On the following day, Monday morning, she ate very well, we talked, and she slept. When she woke up, one of her hands was shaking. I called the doctor and after examination, he said that nothing was wrong with her, that she had lost strength and needed food for recovery.
“He advised that we give her vegetables and fruits to get better, that once they were done with the drugs and drips that he had prescribed for her, everything will normalise, and she would be fine. I said ‘okay’ and thanked him.
"From that morning till night, her hands still shook. I called the attention of the nurses on duty to it, and they told me that nothing was wrong with her. They also said she had lost strength and that she lost electrolytes, and would be fine before she finished taking the prescribed drugs. They said I should just make her sleep, and that the next morning, we would meet with the consultant who would go through her case and know what was wrong with her.
"So, we slept that night and, in the morning, my mum was telling me that she didn’t sleep very well. I told her to calm down, and that once the consultant came, she would be fine. She said okay, but that her shaky hands did not allow her to sleep very well. I urged her to eat while we waited for the chief consultant. Then she told me that she wanted to take pap (Akamu). I went and bought her the pap. After drinking the pap, I bathed her, and lay her on the bed. I told her to keep calm and that in the next few minutes, the consultant would be around to attend to her."
She said trouble started when she went outside to wash her mother's clothes around 9:00 am and a doctor came in and started shouting, "who is taking care of this patient?”.
“This patient is convulsing,” she had quoted the doctor identified as Chibuoke as saying.
According to her, the nurses who were on night duty told the doctor that Mrs Nwaosu was not convulsing and that she had been like that since the previous day.
Augustina said they told the doctor that if it was a convulsion, she would not have met her in that state. According to her, the doctor was told that her mother was fine but only deficient in electrolytes.
"The female doctor insisted that this woman was convulsing. ‘Where is the daughter?’ she inquired, ‘get me diazepam’. I rushed to the pharmacy and bought the diazepam. When I came back, I told the doctor I had bought the drug. She said; ‘give it to the nurse sitting down’. It was my first time seeing that nurse. I gave the diazepam to the nurse. As the nurse was about to inject my mum with the diazepam, the doctor came in and asked, ‘did you dilute it?’
"The nurse said no, that it didn’t need to be diluted. The doctor said ‘okay, no problem, go ahead’. I interrupted them and said doctor, I have some water for injection in case you people want to dilute the drug. The doctor said no problem. Don’t worry. The nurse had already started giving it to her. The nurse then injected my mum. The doctor also left. Then, a few seconds after the injection, my mum started breathing heavily, through her mouth.
"I started shouting, calling them. This is not the way she was breathing because she was awake when that drug was given to her, but she slept off immediately and started breathing through her mouth. When I called the attention of the nurse to my mum’s degenerating situation, the nurse told me to call the doctor. I ran outside to get the doctor, but I couldn’t find her. I ran back calling for help, and I said to the nurse, why not use oxygen to revive my mom, later I will pay for the oxygen.
"The nurse went and started pressing her chest. When the matron came in and saw what was happening, she rushed and brought the oxygen. All of them were now gathered. Before they could fix the oxygen, my mum died, and the doctor rushed in. The doctor said ‘where is the daughter?’ She (the doctor) said ‘Nne, come let me explain things to you.’ I said I didn’t need to hear anything, just wake her up. I said this oxygen (therapy) is not working. I know a functional one when I see it. You people should bring my mum back to life. Then my sister started shouting, here is the doctor that killed my mother and she (doctor) ran away."
Augustina further stated that the nurse who administered the injection also disappeared, stressing that the two health practitioners were not the ones initially managing her mum.
"At about 10:11 am on Tuesday, we saw doctors including the Chief Consultant, Head of Department, among others. They gathered in the ward and started calling me; who is the daughter? Please come, we want to talk to you. I said no, I don’t want to hear anything. Please tell them to wake my mom up for me. They pleaded that I should calm down and that they were not meant to kill her, that it was just a mistake. They said what happened had happened and that I should take heart. I said no, they must revive my mum.
"So, one of the female nurses that worked the night the incident happened then asked me, why did you allow them to give her that drug? I asked her if she (the doctor) is not a qualified doctor. Why do you blame me? The doctor said I should get Diazepam and I simply obeyed. The nurse told me, but your mum had been like that since yesterday and we managed her. I retorted that she should stop querying me for following a doctor’s instruction.
"The doctors later asked if I had informed my people about what happened, and I said yes. Soon after, all of them dispersed from that section. Shortly, my uncle arrived because my father is dead. He said we would take her away and deposit her body in a mortuary close to our hometown, and we agreed."
She alleged that the hospital management delayed issuing her mum’s death certificate.
Augustina said, "My uncle requested my mum's death certificate to enable us to carry her remains and not have any issues with security agents on our way home. But the matron said that we should wait and that somebody was preparing the document. We waited till 5:00 pm. The bus that was brought to carry my mum also had to wait. None of them agreed to issue the document (death certificate). We waited till 6:00 pm, before I went to one of the rooms and opened the door in search of doctors or nurses to issue the certificate. It was then I saw the male nurse that gave my mother the injection that killed her. He was hiding there.
"Then I held him and started shouting, so you killed my mum, and you have been sitting down here since 9:00 am, enjoying the air conditioner? He now started pushing me away. Eventually, he pushed me out and locked the door. Then, out of anger, I went through the window and struck the window with a mop stick, breaking two glasses in the process. The security guards came and asked what the problem was.
"After narrating the story, they said we were not going to leave with the corpse until we had fixed the broken glasses. My uncle agreed but said they had to revive his sister too. They now called the Chief Medical Director, who then called the Ozalla Divisional Police Officer to come and arrest us."