The family members of a 40-year-old woman, Mrs. Ajarat Muritala, who was on admission at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Ogun State, have blamed her disappearance from the hospital’s female ward on the negligence of the nurses.
They also lamented that police investigation into her disappearance was at snail pace, saying no progress had been made in finding the woman since she went missing on October 12.
About six nurses were reportedly with the woman and other patients in the ward before she was discovered missing.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Ajarat was receiving treatment on a heart related disease at the OOUTH.
The mother of four children was said to have gone into a coma on October 11 and was admitted to the emergency and accident ward of the hospital.
Our correspondent gathered that she was later taken to the female ward, where she went missing after regaining consciousness.
Her husband, Mr. Muftau Muritala, said the hospital management had not shown concern for her whereabouts.
He said, “She was supposed to go for treatment at the hospital on October 19. But on October 11, her condition got worse. We rushed her to the hospital and I was told to pay N10,000 admission fee, which I did.
“She was placed on oxygen all through that day. In the evening, I went to pay for a scan she was to have the following day. At about 10am the next day, some nurses wheeled her into the X-ray centre for a scan.
“She was taken to the female ward after the scan. A doctor came to attend to her and she was served a meal. After she finished eating, she said she wanted to rest. Her elder sister, my second wife and my mother, were with her in the ward. They were later told to go outside.
“I went into the ward around 12pm to check her but she was not on her sick bed. There were about six nurses in that ward. They told me to check her in the toilet.
“My relatives outside joined me and we searched everywhere but we couldn’t find her. We rushed to the gate to inform the security men and they said they didn’t see any patient. Meanwhile, the nurses didn’t help us to search for her until they handed over to their colleagues on afternoon duty.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that the incident was reported at the Sagamu Police Division around 3pm and the chief security officer of the hospital and the nurses on duty were quizzed by the police.
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital was said to have begged for the release of the suspects, allegedly promising to find the patient within 24 hours. He, however, did not produce the victim within the period.
“Probably, the police are not handling the case with due diligence because the hospital is owned by the state government. They keep on telling me the case is under investigation. The nurses are supposed to be detained,” the husband added.
Ajarat’s elder sister, Mrs. Khadijat Abdullahi, said she could not fathom the circumstances leading to her disappearance.
Muftau’s brother, Taofiq Muritala, a lawyer, said his chamber had petitioned the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, to thoroughly investigate the case.
He said, “We urge the police to investigate this issue of mysterious and sudden disappearance of the patient at a government’s hospital. The nurses on the instruction of the CMD, have since assumed their duties, leaving the search in the hands of the family alone. This raises our suspicion that there is more to this issue than meets the eye.”
The CMD, Prof. Alfred Jaiyesimi, in a text message to our correspondent, said he was not authorised to speak on the case.
“As a public officer, I am precluded from expressing opinions or statements to the press or media. Kindly respect this public service rule,” he said.
Calls made to the line of the Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Babatunde Ipaye, rang out.
He had also yet to reply to a text message sent to him on the incident as of press time.
But the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said, “The State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department has taken over the case.
“The SCIID wrote the hospital to release those nurses on duty for investigation. We are still investigating the matter.”