UNIVERSITY College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan has revealed that it has nothing to do with the embalmment of the body of the late Richard Gbadebo as it had been done before it received the corpse for autopsy.
UCH made the revelation in response to a query recently by human rights lawyers, Femi Aborisade, Managing Partner, Abope Chambers, on behalf of the family, Alliance On Surviving COVID-19 And Beyond (ASCAB) and International Lawyers Assisting Workers (ILAW) Network, Nigeria Chapter (ILAW).
In the response, dated 24th August, 2020 and signed by ’Niyi Ajayi (Esq.) on behalf of the Director of Administration and Chief Medical Director of UCH, entitled “Re: Observations on the Post Mortem Report dated 4/8/2020 and signed by Dr. C.A Okolo Consultant and Pathologist: Re: Late Richard Gbadebo,” the UCH stated that the corpse of Gbadebo “was stored and embalmed at Teju Specialist Hospital and not Adeoyo Hospital as we earlier stated and that the report have been updated to reflect same.”
Explaining further, the UCH disclosed, among other things: “That Pathology Department of the University College Hospital, Ibadan did not have anything to do with the embalmment of the body as it had been done before we received the body for autopsy.
“That our discussions were with the Police only and there was no discussion whatsoever between us and the Company at any point in time.
“That the clinical summary as was stated is not a component of our autopsy finding
“That the provisional report was written and handed over to the Police to enable them carry out further investigations.
“That the autopsy is a forensic death investigation and we are obliged to forward our final autopsy report when it is ready only to the police and this can be obtained from them subsequently.
“That we do not have any further interest in the case beyond the police mandated forensic death investigation.
“I hope all the above mentioned points has (sic) been able to convince you that the Hospital infact (sic) exercised due diligence in carrying out the autopsy as requested by the Police.”
Aborisade had in a query pointed out that some of the claims in the autopsy report by UCH are inconsistent with facts that are available to the family. In the query dated August 7, 2020, entitled: “Observations on the Post-mortem Report Dated 04-08-2020 and Signed by Dr. C. A. Okolo, Consultant Pathologist: Re– Late Richard Gbadebo,” and addressed to the Chief Medical Director of UCH; Aborisade, raised questions with respect to some observations on the 4th paragraph of the “Post mortem Report, under the sub-section entitled “Clinical Summary”.
The said 4th paragraph, Aborisade said, states that: “Following the discovery of his [Richard Gbadebo] body partially grinded in the machine, he was taken to Adeoyo hospital Ibadan where he was confirmed dead. The body was subsequently embalmed.”
Aborisade averred that the family is disputing the truth of this claim as the body was never taken to Adeoyo Hospital.
He stated: “According to the family of the Late Richard Gbadebo, it is false to say the body of Late Richard Gbadebo “was taken to Adeoyo hospital”.
“In truth, the body was never taken to Adeoyo Hospital at any point in time. Rather, the corpse of Richard Gbadebo was taken to a private hospital named Teju Hospital at Ring Road, Ibadan.
“Moreover, the embalmment of the corpse of Richard Gbadebo, which was done before the conduct of the post mortem examination was not with the consent of the family. [His emphasis]
“It is the brief of Our Clients that the corpse of Late Richard Gbadebo was removed from the premises of HENKEL NIGERIA LIMITED and EXPAND GLOBAL INDUSTRIES LIMITED on the 28th day of July 2020 around 12noon and taken to Teju Hospital, Ring Road, Ibadan, between the hours of 1-2pm on the same day, 28th day of July 2020.
“Though the agents of the companies initially resisted the desire of the father, Mr. Olusola Gbadebo to enter the ambulance and monitor where they were taking the corpse of his son, on the long run, they conceded he could enter the ambulance. The ambulance took the corpse of Richard to Teju Hospital.
“Also, family representatives were present when the body of Richard Gbadebo was removed from Teju Hospital on the 3rd of August 2020 at about 1.00pm for the post mortem examination at UCH. The body of Richard Gbadebo was also returned to Teju Hospital about 4.30pm on the same day, 3rd August 2020.”
On the basis of these clear discrepancies contained in the autopsy report, Aborisade stated that the family, ASCAB and ILAW have a number of questions which demand answers.
The questions, he said, include: “Why did the pathologist state that the body of Richard Gbadebo “was taken to Adeoyo hospital Ibadan where he was confirmed dead” and that the “the body was subsequently embalmed” at Adeoyo Hospital, without relying on any documentary evidence supporting such?
“Was the pathologist misled by any documentary evidence that the body of Richard Gbadebo was ever taken to Adeoyo Hospital?
“If the pathologist was misled by any documentary evidence suggesting that the body of Richard Gbadebo was ever taken to Adeoyo Hospital, who prepared and signed the documentary evidence at Adeoyo Hospital?
“If the pathologist was not misled, why did the post mortem report state falsehood on non-technical facts relating to location?
“If the pathologist was misled by the agents of HENKEL NIGERIA LIMITED and EXPAND GLOBAL INDUSTRIES LIMITED, what are they attempting to cover up?”
While calling for an “investigation of the causes of the lapses observed on the non-technical details contained in the post mortem report,” Aborisade also requested for the certified true copy (CTC) of the autopsy report dated 4th August 2020, stating that “We are ready and willing to pay for the prescribed fees for the CTC, once ready.”