Father: It’s devastating hospital removed eyes, ear of dead infant 

Thirty-six-year-old Promise John, who accused a private hospital in Asaba, Delta State of mutilating the corpse of his newborn baby, speaks to MATTHEW OCHEI about his demand for justice


Please introduce yourself.

My name is Promise John. I am from Akwa Ibom State but I live in Ubulu-Okiti, Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State. I’m 36 years old while my wife is 30 years old. We have been married for one year and some months now.


You said you lost your newborn baby and alleged that a private hospital in Asaba removed some organs from the body. What actually happened?

My child died on Sunday night at the hospital. The doctor on duty said the baby was dead. I wanted to take the body away that night but they refused, saying I had to pay the balance of the hospital bills. They said they had allowed a lot of people to go like that in the past with a promise that they would return to pay but they never did. So, they said they wouldn’t let me take the body away. So, on Monday morning I went back to check but it was a different body that I saw. They had cut off the face, removed the eyes, removed one side of the ear. When I asked the nurse what happened to the body, she said she did not know anything about it.

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What did you do then?

The nurse took photographs of the body and then called her colleagues to arrange the body. I was confused. I took the body and went to show it to my family. We later took it to the police station.


What happened at the police station?

A policeman was assigned to follow me to the hospital with the corpse of the baby. On getting there, the policeman asked for the doctor but we were told that the doctor was not around; so, the police arrested three nurses, including the one on duty the night the baby died. On Tuesday evening, the police went back to the hospital, still they didn’t see the doctor. They only saw two persons who said they came to repair the CCTV. Up till now (Thursday), the doctor hasn’t shown up, so, the nurses are still at the State CID.


How old was your baby before he died?

The baby was born on September 27, 2022. He was born in another hospital but because he was diagnosed with jaundice, we were referred to Asaba Specialist Hospital, but on getting there, they told us they didn’t have space. And that was how we were again referred to this particular hospital where the baby died.

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Did the baby die same day you took him to this particular hospital?

No. He spent 11 days in the hospital before he died. The baby was on oxygen throughout the 11 days. The doctor was treating him and all the drugs they asked me to buy, I bought them and paid for everything they requested for the baby to survive.


Even on Saturday night, I was asked to donate blood for my baby, which I did and paid N43, 000 for them to transfuse the blood. They promised me that the baby would be okay after the blood transfusion. I also paid N12, 000 for each oxygen and they used six.


After the blood transfusion, the condition of the baby did not improve. The next thing was that one of the nurses called me and said the doctor wanted to see me. I went to see the doctor, who then told me that my baby was dead.


Where is the corpse of the baby now?

The police deposited it at the FMC mortuary. It was kept in the fridge, so it will not change colour. The corpse the hospital presented was not that of the baby we took to the hospital. That was not our son.


Did you eventually pay the hospital bill before you were allowed to take the corpse?

No, they did not ask me to pay the balance again.

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How much was the bill?

It was N150,500.


What are your demands?

We are calling on the hospital to provide our baby’s body. My cry is that I want Nigerians to come and help me and my wife get justice for my son. It is very very sad to lose a baby; but not only that, his face was marked; eyes and ear were removed. I have lost my job because of this trouble they put me into. My wife is still in pain because he put to bed by cesarean section and has not recovered from it.


My family members are angry. Even that Monday morning, the youths, my family members and others around me were very angry and wanted to set the hospital ablaze but it took intervention of some people that we should not take the law into our own hands. CONTINUE READING……………………..






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Akanji Philip

Correspondent at Voice Air Media.

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