A matron at a private hospital on Shibiri Road, Ajangbadi, Lagos State, Mrs. Victoria Ukwu, has been arrested in connection with a mutilated body of a one-year-old twin, Favour Orogbu.
Two nurses at the hospital, Navico Clinic and Maternity, who were on duty on the day of the incident, were also apprehended.
The right cheek of the victim was reportedly sliced off by a yet-to-be identified person after she died at the facility last Friday night. But the matron was said to have claimed that it was a rodent that inflicted the cut.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that Favour and her twin sister, Esther, were rushed to the hospital on Tuesday, August 28, by their mother after they started vomiting. They were admitted.
While Esther was recuperating, Favour’s condition was reportedly deteriorating. She gave up the ghost three days later.
The deceased’s mother, Amaka, said she and her sister-in-law wanted to remove the corpse around 7am on Saturday when the shocking discovery was made.
She said, “Last week Tuesday, around 10am, my twins were vomiting continually and I took them to Navico Clinic and Maternity. I paid N1,500 for the card before the matron attended to them. She asked me when the ailment started and I said about two days ago. She said their medical bill was 10,000 and I deposited N4,000. They were given drips.
“Esther was recuperating, but Favour’s condition did not improve. I met with the matron and she assured me that she would be okay. On Wednesday morning, her condition worsened. I complained again to the matron and she gave her an injection.”
Amaka explained that the matron asked a nurse to administer sleeping pills on Favour on Wednesday evening, adding that her daughter slept all through that night till Friday evening.
The mother said she complained over the long sleep, but the matron reassured her that Favour would be fine.
She recalled, “I left to get the N6,000 balance that Friday evening. When I came back, she was still sleeping and taking another drip. In the night, she started breathing heavily. I rushed to call a nurse to attend to her. She took her to the matron’s office.
“The matron came to meet me outside and enjoined me to be calm. After a while, she came out again and told me that my daughter was dead. She asked me to make arrangements to remove her corpse immediately. I told her that my husband was not around and that I could not handle the situation alone.
“I called my sister-in-law to come to the hospital. I was somewehere at the hospital throughout that night. Around 5am, the doctor came to me again to ask about how I wanted to remove the corpse. Around 7am, my sister-in-law came and went to the ward where Favour was. She saw bloodstains all over the bed sheet that was used to cover the baby. She came back to ask me what was wrong.”
Amaka said she rushed into the ward and confirmed the in-law’s observation, noting that both of them immediately alerted the matron to the discovery.
“The matron brought her corpse out of the ward. On close observation, it was discovered that her face had been sliced off. She said it was a rat that chopped off her face. I went to report to the police at the Ajangbadi Police Division.
“The two nurses that were on duty that day and the matron were arrested. The nurses initially ran away, but they have been arrested,” she added.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, who confirmed the incident, stated that the suspects had been arrested and transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, for further investigation.
Oti said, “On September 1, around 12pm, Mrs. Amaka Orogbu of No 4, Salawu Street, Santana Bus Stop, Shibiri, reported that her daughter, Favour Orogbu, was sick and hospitalised at Navico Clinic and Maternity along Shibiri Road, Ajangbadi for treatment.
“On August 31, at 11.30pm, the matron Mrs. Victoria Ukwu, 52, confirmed the death of the baby to her. The baby was wrapped and kept ready for removal. The following morning, the mother discovered that the corpse was bleeding and the right side of the baby’s face was sliced off by an unknown person right inside the hospital and she suspected foul play by the hospital’s staff.
“The said matron was arrested and she confirmed the allegations, but expressed shock at what happened. The nurses on duty have also been arrested and the case is under investigation to ascertain whether or not the clinic is licensed by relevant regulatory agencies to operate as a maternity home.”