Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
The family of former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s aide, Dr. Waripamowei Dudafa, yesterday raised the alarm over the failing health of their son.
The former presidential aide is currently being detained in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) cell.
The family also alleged that the anti-graft agency had denied Dudafa access to proper medical attention.
Speaking for the first time since the arrest of the former Special Assistant on Domestic Matters, to Jonathan in April this year, the spokesman for the family, Mr. Thomas Akpoebi, alleged that family members and the personal physician of the detained Bayelsa State-born politician had been prevented from seeing him since he was arrested.
He said Dudafa’s health began to deteriorate about two weeks ago, just as he debunked a national daily’s report that the EFCC had released him.
‘’We the members of the Dudafa family are frightened at the level of deliberate neglect and abandonment of Dudafa since his incarceration about 50 days ago.”
‘’This is the first time we are constrained to say something to the world since the arrest and detention of our brother; and this is deliberate in order for the law to take its full circle, despite the media trial that has been orchestrated against him.
‘’We are particularly disturbed that the EFCC told a national daily last week that Dudafa had been released. This is far from the truth and an attempt to mislead the public in order to endanger our brother’s life in their custody. This is a despotic way of fighting corruption,’’ the spokesman said.
The family added that in the last 12 days, Dudafa had suffered series of health issues that require medical attention, saying he had been managing a spinal cord challenge, which had relapsed significantly in the last three days.
‘’He has had incessant cough and cold with visible signs of malaria and has lost appetite completely. This is worrisome because it is a life-threatening illness. And no member of his family has since been allowed to take his drugs to him, let alone takes his personal physician to him to carry out the necessary checks on him.”
‘’All the EFCC has done is to buy paracetamol and novalgin tablets for him. This is unacceptable and very despotic on the part of the anti-graft agency because no law prohibits medical care for suspects. His efforts to even reach family members to bring in his prescribed drugs have been frustrated by the EFCC. His mobile phones are all seized, while other suspects are allowed access to communicate with their families. This is just unfortunate,’’ they said.
The family called on the international community to step in with regards to what they described as ‘’the ugly tendency’’ that has lately characterized the partisan, selective operations of the EFCC.
‘’We say we are worried that our brother’s health is declining and in dire need for medicals. He must not be allowed to die in custody,’’ Akpoebi said in the statement.