Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Panic erupted yesterday at the Specialist Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, following clash between men of the Department of State Security (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the private security of the hospital over alleged slow responses, said to have led to the death of a DSS personnel.
The DSS alleged that the unprofessional response by medical personnel in the state government owned health facility, when one of their men, who slumped while in a meeting in their office was brought to the hospital for medical attention.
It took the intervention of the police, who were called from the Oba Market Police Station and the Chief Security Officer (CSO), Government House, before calm was restored.
During the commotion, an unmarked white Hilux Van was sighted conveying the suspected DSS personnel wearing a jacket at the hospital premises.
At the end of the chaos, some people sustained injuries including the private security guards and a female personnel of the NSCDC.
An official of the DSS was overheard saying, “We were in a meeting, when he slumped and he was rushed to our health facility to check his pulse, we then rushed him to the Edo Specialist Hospital, which is the closest to our office but the reception we got there was poor.
“It was our people that had to bring our colleague down from the vehicle. When you got to the hospital, courtesy demands that you bring the patient down and attend to him or her, at least, show commitment but right in the car, they said they cannot carry him and we have to carry him down ourselves.”
When contacted, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. David Odiko, said the patient was promptly attended to by the doctor on duty, who confirmed him dead at the time they brought him but that the DSS personnel refused to accept it.
“I was not in the hospital, when the incident happened because I was in the court for a case. It was from there they called me and as at the time I came, they had left but I met policemen on ground.
“They brought him as an emergency. He was said to have slumped and the doctor on duty went to check and he said he met the guy lying on the seat of the car and that there was no breathing movement because that is the first thing you see.
“If you can see that the chest and abdomen are moving, he didn’t see that then he proceeded to check if there were still pulse and heartbeat which were also absent. He said he still proceeded to do CPR but there was no response.
“The diagnosis the doctor made was that he was brought in dead and they said they were not going to take that and they personally moved him into our facility and dropped him on the floor. I was told that another group of personnel moved, they actually injured the Civil Defence personnel that was duty on her head.”