Press Statement over Rita Ugwuegbulam nee Akpaka Corpse: Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and Nigerian Police in Autopsy Scandal

Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Mike Akpaka, the representative of the Late Pa James Akpaka family from Nimo, Njikoka L. G. of Anambra State do not wish what we’re presently going through on any other family. This is a case of corruption with impunity and blatant disregard to laid down rules and procedures by public officials and the institutions they represent. We believe that if we can all do the little we can, together we can boost the fight against corruption in this country. We are also aware that the Press is in the forefront in the “fight against corruption” in this country and constitutes a formidable component in the last hope for the common man for justice.
Our one and only sister who was married to one Ray Ugwuegbulam died in her matrimonial home in Enugu on May 22, 2015 under suspicious and very questionable circumstances including a mysterious abdominal incision which was later found on her body.
When our brother in-law wouldn't cooperate with us to perform an autopsy in order to find the cause of death, we requested and eventually obtained her corpse from our brother in-law after a prolonged struggle. We subsequently, found a mysterious abdominal incision on her body. When our brother in-law, Mr. Ray Ugwuegbulam was not forthcoming and couldn't offer any coherent or reasonable explanation and as the whole circumstances became shrouded in mystery, we invited the police in Enugu through our lawyer’s petition to the Enugu State Commissioner of Police dated August 25, 2015 to determine the cause and time of death and the necessity for the abdominal incision and if the incision contributed to her death.
This was when we started noticing signs of corruptions, cover- ups, manipulations and obstruction of justice from the very public institutions and individuals that we relied on to uncover the truth of what happened to our beloved sister. Ladies and gentlemen of the press, that is why we are here today.
The first sign of corruption was when the police started colluding with our brother in-law. We petitioned the police to get some answers since he wouldn't cooperate with us.
Our brother in-law also went around us and tried to compromise some of our unsuspecting extended family members to help rush the burial of our sister at his home town. We found out in good time and were able to stop those efforts and had those family members returned his money. If our brother in-law had nothing to hide he wouldn't be making those sneaky and undercover efforts and would gladly reveal the identities of his accomplices.
Even though we were compelled to pay for the autopsy by the police, yet they did not allow us to appoint our own pathologist for the autopsy but we were able to have Dr. Godwin UdemezuoMolokwu to observe the autopsy. It is pertinent to mention here that, according to Dr. Molokwu, one of the policemen present at the autopsy by name Chidi, our brother in-law and the police pathologist which is Dr. Ohayi S.A.R. of Histipathology Department of E.S.U.T.H., Parklane, Enugu where the autopsy was done tried to prevent Dr. D. U. Molokwu from observing the autopsy claiming that Dr. Ohayi S.A.R. is our official doctor and representative. Mind you that this covert incident took place after I had identified my late sister’s corpse and stepped out of the autopsy room. Ladies and gentlemen, was that not a clear case of deliberate attempt to obstruct justice, conspiracy, and corruption? Dr. Ohayi demanded for N250,000.00 and later insisted on N200,000.00. That was after he agreed to do it for N150,000.00 when the I.P.O., Mrs Rhoda Akpa mediated. However, we went ahead and paid N150,000.00 which is way over and above the government recommended rate and he refused to offer us a receipt. Dr. Ohayi S.A.R. continued to request for the balance and tried to withhold the autopsy result.
Neither the police nor the pathologist Dr. Ohayi S.A.R. would give us the autopsy report. We finally got a copy from Dr. Ohayi S.A.R. after we threatened him with legal action, see annexure F. When we saw the report, we there and then pointed out to Dr. Ohayi that the cause and time of death is missing in his report and he told us the police didn't ask him to look for cause and time of death. We quickly went to the police to report the absence of cause and time of death and they promised us they will return the report to Dr. Ohayi S.A.R. to include them. They continued to change the time to come and collect the new and revised report until finally they called me (Mike Akpaka) to come and collect the new revised report. On getting to Enugu from Lagos, I found out that it was the same old report that they read out to me again.
Our family had initially decided to take the extra step and cost to do a Post Mortem Imaging studies to compare and contrast it with the physical autopsy. When I disclosed it to both the police IPO Mrs. Akpa and DrOhayi, the I.P.O., MrsAkpa agreed to be part of it and Dr. Ohayi also agreed to issue me the request note as demanded by New Hope Dialysis and Diagnostic Center, Onitsha . They both reneged at the very last minute making us to further confirm our suspicion of compromise.
Dr. Molokwu later issued us the request note, see annexure K. We then approached New Hope Dialysis and Diagnostic Center with a request for a Post Mortem Imaging but they first gave us an unsigned report for Thoracic Abdominal Scan with Dr. Victor A. Osiatuma's name on it (see annexure L1) and the report indicated that all the organs are intact. We (Mike Akpaka and Chris Akpaka) quickly went to both Dr. Molokwu and the Director of New Hope Dialysis and Diagnostic Center to complain. Dr. Molokwu agreed to help find out why the report wasn't signed. Later, we were able to obtain a copy of the note from Dr. Molokwu to Dr. Osiatuma from New Hope Dialysis and Diagnostic Center telling Dr. Osiatuma to save the image of the medical profession by doing the right report and signing it, see annexure M. In the second report that we believe he Dr. Osiatuma was pressured to sign, he contradicted the first report by then saying that the ovaries and the fallopian tubes were not seen, annexure L2. It is also pertinent to mention here that the second report which was issued weeks later bears the same date with the initially unsigned report but with different content. That is very suspicious and has further exposed his dubious intentions. In Dr. Osiatuma's affidavit to Medical and Dental Council he adduced reasons on why the fallopian tubes could not be visualized. We see that as playing a fast one with words to deceive and confuse the public to hide their devilish agenda. We made the sacrifice of paying the additional N90,000.00 to order the Post Mortem Imaging because it's the technical equivalence to the physical autopsy and it is supposed to produce similar reports. It is supposed to visualize every part of the body from head to toe with the appropriate equipment(s). That's why we see the Thoracic Abdominal Scan report Dr. Osiatuma and New Hope Dialysis and Diagnostic Center gave us as a ploy to conceal the truth. It is expected in a Post Mortem Imaging that what is not visualized with a CT scan should be visualized with other appropriate equipment. We also want to add here that both reports are on a letter head of Onitsha Diagnostic Center and not on New Hope Dialysis and Diagnostic Center's letter head that we engaged for the post mortem imaging. Dr. G. U. Molokwu told us after observing the autopsy that both the ovaries and the fallopian tubes were missing and he issued his observation report to that effect, see annexure R.
On December 8, 2015, we took our case to Medical and Dental Council hoping to get justice. Our experiences from the outset gave us a lot of concerns. They first sent their questionnaire to only Dr. Osiatuma on December 22, 2015. When we finally inquired months later if they’ve served the other doctors with the questionnaire, because we have received only the response of Dr. Osiatuma from them, we were told they don’t have the contact of Dr. Molokwu but they never tried to ask us for it. We don’t believe they made any efforts to find that out. After all, medical doctors register and the renewal of their yearly practice license are with them. We had insider information from the office of The Secretary of The Medical and Dental Practitioners Investigating Council that Dr. Abdu himself talks regularly with DrOhayi right from about the second week we filed our petition. We were also told they were class or school mates. We had to send them a reminder in addition to the phone calls from our lawyer then to Dr. Abdu for the same purpose. It is not until April, 2016 that we finally received the affidavit response of DrOhayi. That was more than three months after we received the response from Dr. Osiatuma.
We impressed on Dr. Molokwu to contact them to help us save time. When they eventually tried to send the questionnaire to Dr. Molokwu, they sent it to New Hope Dialysis and Diagnostic Center and Dr. Osiatuma. It took weeks, according to Dr. Molokwu, before the courier delivery person contacted him to tell him that he delivered to the wrong address they gave him which happened to be New Hope Dialysis and Diagnostic Center and Dr. Osiatuma’s address. We do not believe this to be any coincidence. It was becoming more and more obvious with time that there’s conspiracy to delay and kill our case.
Dr. Abdu and his office at the MDCN investigating panel continued to advise us that we don’t need to have a lawyer to deal with their institution and that we can go ahead and bury our sister because we have a strong case and overwhelming documented evidence. They also continued to tell us they were not dealing with cases yet and that the delay was mainly because the presidency has not appointed a new panel until we found out online and through the pages of newspapers that they have been adjudicating cases and most of those cases were filed after our case.
We finally sent them another reminder through our lawyer in November of 2017. Dr. Abdu quickly sent a letter to our lawyer to vent his displeasure at the tone of the reminder. He subsequently, replied us striking out our case and saying that our initial petition of December 8, 2015 was “grossly short of the requirements of the Evidence Act”, see Annexure C1. We hereby attach copies of his response striking out our case, annexure C1 and his letter to our lawyer, Annexure C2.
-         First of all, they are quoting evidence act to the people they have been telling that they don’t need a lawyer. Dr. Abdu didn’t state any reason why the duly sworn affidavit was grossly short of the requirements of the Evidence Act. We see this as one of his ploys to frustrate us, delay and kill this case.
-         Secondly, there’s no place in their “Standing Order and Rules of Procedures” which we have also attached, that “Evidence Act” was mentioned.
-         Thirdly, if that initial petition was truly defective as they claim, why did they accept it then and sent out questionnaires to the doctors based on the defective petition. Why were they acting on and using defective Affidavit/petition. We have attached the said defective affidavit as annexure E1
-         Fourth, we filed a “Further and Better Affidavit” in July of 2016 which they have failed to mention till date in any of their correspondences. This “Further and Better Affidavit” filed after all the doctors have filed all their affidavit of response is supposed to supercede or support the first petition in question. We find it very suspicious that Dr. Abdu and his Investigation Panel have refused to mention this most recent affidavit in any of their correspondences. They have been avoiding it like a plaque. The Further and Better Affidavit is annexure E2.
-         Fifth, they did not tell us why it is grossly short of the requirements of the evidence act. How can we resubmit through a properly done affidavit when we don’t know what is wrong with the one we submitted and nobody yet, per our inquiries, have been able to point out to us anything wrong with our the affidavit in question. We believe they just wanted to frustrate and kill our case by making us go back in the queue and wait probably for another 3 years only to find something else to truncate our case. We also believe they want to frustrate us financially and otherwise to go and bury the corpse and get rid of the evidence.
Ladies and gentlemen, all we are looking for is for the public institutions and their officials involved to timely and transparently do their job or face the consequences. We want Dr. Abdu and the Medical & Dental Practitioners Investigation Panel, The IPO MrsAkpa and the Police, New Hope Dialysis and Diagnostic Center and Dr. Osiatuma, and ESUTH, Park lane where the autopsy was done and Dr. Ohayi S.A.R. to go back and do their job that we have paid for. We want the institutions involved to be sanctioned and the corrupt officials to be disciplined to the highest extent that our laws permit.
Our case is a case of corruption with reckless impunity by public officials. It is a case that has been denied by delays because it is said that justice delayed is justice denied. It’s now almost three years that our sister died (May 22, 2015 to be precise) and has been lying in the mortuary since then waiting for justice. Because of corruption, these public officials and the institutions they represent are using their powers to delay, suppress and kill our case. They should all be exposed and brought to book.
We have filed petitions against Dr. Abdu and the Medical and Dental Council, ESUTH, Parklane Teaching and Dr. Ohayi, New Hope Dialysis and Diagnostic Center and Dr. Victor Osiatuma, The Police and the IPO Mrs. Akpa to 1. The ICPC, 2.The Presidency, 3. The Speaker of The House of House of Representatives, 4.The Minister of Health, 5. The Inspector General of Police, The Code of Conduct Bureau. We are here today pleading with the press to also help us get the attention of the Federal Government and its agencies to timely attend to our petitions so that justice can be served.
On behalf of my brothers, I wish to appreciate each and every one here for finding time to honour our invitation to this Press Briefing.

1.     John Akpaka: 0803 338 7812
2.     Mike Akpaka: 0803 338 8293
3.     Chris Akpaka: 009 1 215 971 6803 &
4.     Joe Akpaka: 009 353 89 975 8906.

 Photo of Mike (Middle) with Chris left and Dr Mrs Agwuile right

Press Statement over Rita Ugwuegbulam nee Akpaka Corpse: Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and Nigerian Police in Autopsy Scandal Press Statement over Rita Ugwuegbulam nee Akpaka Corpse: Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and Nigerian Police in Autopsy Scandal Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, April 28, 2018 Rating: 5

No comments: