IGP, Mohammed Abubakar
By Paul Obi
Impatience, fuelled by anxiety, may have caused a man to lose his temper, as he attacked Dr. Ejike Nwokwor of Adonai Hospital, Mararaba, Nasarawa State, for allegedly not responding in time to his wife who was in labour, resulting in her giving birth at the hospital’s gate while she was waiting to be attended to in the hospital.
The man (name withheld) had rushed his wife to the hospital, perhaps too late, as the labour process had seemingly intensified so much that the little delay in getting her to the hospital for medical attention resulted in her abrupt delivery, right in front of the hospital on the outskirts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The incident, which occurred at about 11.30 pm last Thursday, resulted in the intervention of the Nasarawa State Police Command that has arrested several persons over the incident. The man’s brash action, has fouled up what ought to have been an occasion of great joy to him and the family.
THISDAY checks revealed that the case is now before the Abacha Road Police Station.
Narrating his ordeal to THISDAY, Nwokwor alleged that the woman’s husband manhandled him, apparently because he said the hospital was slothful and thus not doing much to prevent his wife from giving birth outside the hospital.
He said: "The gateman came to call me that somebody was outside and that it looked like an emergency, that I should come and examine the person. So when I got to the gate, there was a woman there, she was in labour. She had already delivered; and when I bent down to carry the baby, the man was shouting, abusing us that we wasted time and his wife has now delivered at the gate, that we didn't come on time. I ignored his tirade and as I was about carrying the baby, the man came from behind and began hitting me, and before I realised what was happening, I was on the ground. When the man finished beating me, we still carried the woman and completed the delivery process. Later, the man came and was threatening me, that he will deal with me.
“Here in Mararaba, because of the population, we see a lot of things, some women deliver inside the car, some people deliver as they are coming in, it all depends on how early they come. As a doctor, I was grateful that the woman had seemingly delivered safely without no immediate problem or complication, for which I was thankful to God for.”
Nwokwor explained that although the woman registered for ante-natal services, she only visited the hospital once on July 9, 2012, a month to her delivery date. According to him, he was the one that attended to her then.
When THISDAY contacted the man, described as the “aggressor,” he debunked the allegations and accused the hospital’s management of recklessness and insensitivity.
He said his family had been using the hospital for over seven years, pointing out that even his six-year-old son was delivered in the same hospital.
“I have maintained my family file for seven years now with the hospital; in fact, my son, who is six years now, was born in that hospital. I have the report card," he said.
But the point is whether the wife regularly attended the ante-natal sessions usually organised for pregnant women; and not whether the family was registered with the hospital. It is one thing to be registered, and it is quite another to attend the various ante natal sessions prior to delivery.
Officials of Adonai Hospital also accused the family of the woman of attempting to secretly discharge the baby and the mother without the notice of the hospital management.
The man who pleaded for anonymity narrated his own version of the story: "We arrived at the hospital, and started knocking at the gate, the security man was sleeping, we spent 25 minutes at the gate. When he came, he saw me holding the gate, he went back and came back after 20 minutes." When you combine the time (which is 45 minutes by his account), but he sums it up saying: “it's up to one hour."
He further accused the hospital management and the police of wrongfully arresting his wife, brothers and other relatives under the pretext that they wanted to steal the baby.
The Nasarawa Police Command Deputy Public Relations Officer, Cornelius Osholi, told THISDAY in a telephone interview that, "it is an assault case, and it's still under investigation. After the investigation, the police will charge the culprit to court."
Those arrested have been granted bail, the two parties are expected to report at the police station today for further investigation.
Asked whether the case will be transferred to Lafia, the state capital, Osholi said that since it is not a criminal case, it would not be taken to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Lafia, but the police station where the case was reported to has the authority to charge the case to court.
The Medical Director at the hospital, Dr. Godwin Obote, was not available for comment.