There was confusion in the air following the mysterious disappearance of man identified as Adeyinka Afolabi, the Vice-Principal of Ijaye Ojokoro Junior Secondary School II from the sick bed at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital Idi-Araba.
Prior to his disappearance, 58-year-old Afolabi had been on admission at the hospital since on August 14, 2013 to treat an injury on his head.
Afolabi who is a Level 16 Grade Officer cadre at the Lagos State Government Education District 1, Agege, had been rushed by his eldest son, Peter Afolabi, to a private hospital in the Agbado, Oke Aro area of Ogun State, where the family lived, before the hospital referred them to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja.
LASUTH was said to have thereafter referred him to LUTH, where a brain surgery was expected to be carried out as a result of the head injury.
He said, “My mother died in 2010, and we advised dad to remarry as he was always thinking and felt lonely. On that day (August 10, 2013), he went out to see a friend in the neighbourhood and when he came back in the evening, he was bleeding in the head.
“He said he slipped and injured his skull along the road. I did not think it was something serious but in the morning, it became worse and he was admitted to a private hospital.
“His condition was not improving as he sometimes spoke irrationally. That was how he was referred to LASUTH, Ikeja. The management at LASUTH said he might need a brain surgery and referred us to LUTH on August 14, 2013.
“He was at Ward E6 in LUTH from August 14. He was already recuperating. I came around 9am on August 16 to give him his clothes, but the security said it was not the visiting hour. I still saw him on the sickbed.
“Around 5.30pm when it was time for visitation, I came back to see him and that was when I could not find him on the sickbed. Immediately, I called the attention of the nurses to the development. I called the helplines posted on the wall to raise the alarm. One of the nurses and I searched the premises together from 6pm to 10pm without any result.”
The family wrote a letter to the LUTH Chief Medical Director, dated August 29, 2013, notifying the authorities to investigate how Adeyinka disappeared from the ward.
He added that all efforts by the family members since 2013 to get LUTH’s management to explain the whereabouts of his father had proved abortive.
He said, “My younger sister and I went to meet with the LUTH CMD on August 18. He said he was not aware of the incident.
“We wrote a letter to the Lagos State Ministry of Education and the ministry directed that the case be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.”
It was learnt that the family wrote a petition to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, SCIID, dated September 26, 2013, to investigate the incident; but nothing came out of it.
Punch was given copies of the letters including a petition written to the Office of the Governor of Lagos State, dated November 30, 2015.
Another letter was reportedly sent to the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, and the Director, Office of the Public Defender, Surulere, Lagos State.
The LUTH Public Relations Officer, Kenneth Otuneme, said such occurrence was rare in the hospital and directed the family members to come for an interaction.
“We will ensure that the appropriate thing is done. Please, tell the family members to come with a copy of the letter,” he added.
The Lagos police spokesperson, SP Dolapo Badmos, said, “I will make proper inquiries and get back to you.”
One of the investigating police officers at the SCIID confirmed that the case file was with the office, adding that he had, however, been transferred to Kaduna State.
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