Alexander Okere, Benin
The management of the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Benin, Edo State, has dismissed the allegation that the corpse of a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Dr Osaretin Osadolor, was stolen from the hospital.
This came less than 24 hours after a group of persons, who claimed to be relatives of the deceased, stormed the hospital on Monday, alleging that the corpse had been forcefully removed from the mortuary without their consent.
They had also called on the Nigeria Police to investigate the matter.
One of the protesters, Pastor Joseph Osadolo, who identified himself as a brother to the deceased, had said, “I do not know how the body of my younger brother was stolen from the mortuary.”
But the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Isaac Omorogiuwa, told our correspondent on Tuesday that the corpse was deposited in the morgue by the eldest son of the deceased, Mr Erhunse Osadolor, on July 2, after proper documentation.
Omorogiuwa stated that the body was later released to the son for the burial rites since he (Erhunse) had possession of a slip given to him by the hospital for proper identification and access.
He also disclosed that the late legislator was interred by his family in September.
The medical director said, “The late Dr Osadolor is not missing. He was brought here by his eldest son on July 2, 2019. Our business was to keep the corpse in our morgue, nothing more than that.
“The family of the deceased also followed due process and the body was released to the eldest son, who brought the body to this hospital. Interestingly, the man (deceased) has been interred by the family.
“So, where did the news (of a missing corpse) come from? If the family has a problem, that should not be extended to our facility.”
Omoroguiwa further described the report and the allegation of the protesters as not only false but also embarrassing, as the state government had published their condolences in the brochure used for the burial which held between September 27 and 30.
He, however, noted that the hospital would take appropriate legal actions on the case.
“So, the management of this hospital, the Edo State Management Board, Edo State Ministry of Health and, indeed, the Government of Edo State are totally embarrassed by that report. We will not let it go just like that,” he added.
Efforts to reach the eldest son of the deceased were unsuccessful as he did not pick calls to his mobile phone.
He had also yet to respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.
But the Commissioner of Police, Mr Johnson Kokumo, said the matter would be investigated if it had been brought before the command.
Kokumo stated, “If they reported the matter to us, we would subject it to investigation. But if the matter is not reported to us, there is little we can do about it.”
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