The Ogun State Police Command says it is investigating a case of alleged assault on two journalists by security personnel of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital(OOUTH) Sagamu.
The Command’s spokesman, Mr. Abimbola Oyeyemi, a Superintendent of Police, who disclosed this to our reporter on Saturday said the matter had been reported at a police station in Sagamu and later taken to Sapora division, also in Sagamu, for investigation.
“We heard about it and the police quickly moved in and the matter was reported in Sagamu. The case has been taken to Sapora Division where it is being investigated. So, we are investigating it,” Oyeyemi told our reporter.
The Daily Crucible reports that members of a family, their friends and relatives had converged at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu on a Friday in January this year to retrieve the remains of a relative deposited at the facility since October last year but could not find it – the corpse simply went missing, according to report.
Shock – stricken family members who had come from Ijebu-Ode to Sagamu with an ambulance and undertakers for the retrieval of the female corpse went home frustrated, confused and disillusioned. And all the preparations that had gone into the scheduled burial, became a wasteful venture.
However the OOUTH Chief Medical Director, Dr. Oluwabunmi Fatungase, in a statement concerning the appalling incident, said the specialist hospital was working to unravel what transpired.
“Any circumvention of the quality assurance of the hospital will not be taken lightly and necessary consequences in consonance with the public service rules will be applied on whoever is found culpable
“The present administration in Ogun State has upgraded the mortuary with modern freezers and scaled up its amenities.
“The mortuary service of the hospital has been preferred by many people to keep the remains of their beloved intact until they are ready for burial,” she stated.
But bids by two broadcast Journalists to do a follow up report on the missing corpse left them with injuries after they were thoroughly beaten by five security personnel attached to the OOUTH.
OOUTH falls within the purview of the state’s ministry of health, where Dr. Tomi Coker is the commissioner.
The Daily Crucible investigation revealed the identities of the assaulted journalists as Yemi Dalemo, a senior reporter and Gbenga Egbepeju, a cameraman – Both are staff of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), the largest Television Network in Africa.
The two had after leaving the hospital premises elected to take the street shot to register their visit to the hospital having been told that there was no official of the hospital who could speak with them on the missing female corpse.
Trouble started when a security attached to the Morbid Anatomy and Histopathology Department of the OOUTH, Sagamu met the journalists shortly after they did a piece-to-cam, asking them to identify themselves which they did but later went to report to the hospital management.
The Journalists had earlier reported at the PRO’s, Chief Medical Director and office of the most senior medical officials office and were notified of the presence of the media personnel within the hospital.
Having not been able to get satisfactory response from the officials, the broadcasters using their journalistic experience decided to take the movement on both sides of the road leading from Isale Oko into the Sagamu community and this drew the ire of the hospital’s security guards and fitfully attacked the journalists.
During the assault, the security men injured the helpless journalists, damaged their equipment and seized them.
Their ordeals in the hands of the security personnel did not end until passers-by, who were largely muslim faithful returning from Jumat Service – they took the risk and rescued them from the severe and torturous incident.
The Daily Crucible learnt that the General Manager of the station where the reporters were deployed to cover the assignment quickly informed the Police Authority in Ogun State who later came to rescue the reporters and invited the security personnel to their station along Aiyepe road.
Before leaving the Police station the Journalists were made to write their statements and fill a bail bond before leaving the station.
The police also got the statement of the accused security personnel of the hospital and released them on self recognition.