Homicide detectives at Panti, Yaba, have began investigation into the death of a teenager, Uju Onwuzuruigbe, who allegedly died from complications arising from an unsafe abortion.
Miss Onwuzuruigbe, 18, bled to death on October 22 at her parents’ house at Shuribu, in Ajangbadi, few days after an auxiliary nurse, identified as Joy Temi, performed an abortion for her. Her parents reported the matter to the police; and subsequently her lover, Peter Chukwunakwe, and the nurse were arrested.
The victim’s mother told her story. “Uju be my daughter and she is the fifth child wen I born, dem plenty wen I get,” she said. “But on the 22nd, she come home tell me her mama say her belly dey pain her. She come say make her I give her hot water to drink. As she drink and she still dey cry, dey roll for bed say her belly still dey pain her. I come ask her say wetin happen she say na stomach, but around 5.30 am she come dey shake say she wan die. I tell her say she no go die make she tell me wetin happen. Na so she come confess say, ‘mama, I don do you bad, na belly I remove.’ She tell me about the nurse, na so I come hear about wetin happen to my daughter. As she tell me these thing, na so she come die. We come go report the case to police.”
Both the nurse, Ms Temi, and the alleged lover, Mr Chukwunakwe, denied procuring abortion for the deceased. “She came to me on October 7th that she has a venereal disease, that she was having discharges,” said Ms Temi. “I gave her Gentamicin Tablet and she went home. It was after some days that the police came and arrest me that I did abortion for Uju. I am a trained nurse and I got my certificate at the Falati Hospital. I did not do any abortion for her, I only treated her for a virginal infection and it is not an STD she had.”
Mr Chukwunakwe agreed that he dated the deceased, but denied knowledge of the pregnancy. “Uju is my girl friend and I have known her for more than one year,” he said. “She did not tell me that she was pregnant and I did not take her for any abortion, so I do not know anything about her death.”
Not interested in justice
Ambrose Onwozurigbe, the father of the victim, said he is not interested in prosecuting the case. “I want make police release my daughter dead body make I go bury her,” he said. “Her body dey for mortuary and doctors no dey to do autopsy for her. Wetin don happen don happen. E no good make she dey there dey smell, her spirit no agree rest and we want carry her go burry her make her spirit rest, so we want make police release her body to us.”
Investigations into homicide cases in the state are being stalled following the strike by Lagos doctors. A morgue attendant at the Isolo General Hospital, who did not wish to be named, confirmed that cases of corpses without autopsy reports have increased in the last two months as a result of the doctors’ strike. “One thing you should know is that detectives cannot do their work especially in homicide cases when there is no autopsy report to prove the causes of death,” he said. “Many people are just coming here to claim their corpses without due autopsy report because the doctors that will carry it out are on strike. So people must bury their dead, and I can tell you that because of this strike, the corpses at this general hospital have increased.”
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