By Izunna Okafor
The Federal Government through the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has absolved the Medical Director of the Victory Children’s Hospital, Onitsha, Dr. Oliver Nnamdi Umeh, his staff and the hospital of any involvement in the death of a new born baby and daughter of one Mr. Solomon Igwe in his hospital.
The clearance report from the IGP obtained by newsmen cleared Dr Umeh, his hospital and staff of mutilating the dead baby’s ear, and pointed out that the dead baby’s ear was eaten up by rodents, hence the ‘serrated edges of the defect left behind’ according to two autopsy reports.
It pointed out as well that histology report showed that the defect in the ear arose after death.
A section of the report reads ". . . both first and second post Mortems conducted on the instance of the father of the deceased baby revealed: 1a Alphyxia from Ib respiratory distress syndrome of the new born, a situation that leads to inability of the Baby to retain air in the lungs.
"The ear was apparently removed by rodents, hence the serrated edges of the defect left behind. Histology also shows that the defect arose after death. Consequently, this evidently resolved the contention as to the cause of death and the severed ear.
"In conclusion, there is nothing of evidential value linking Dr. Oliver Nnamdi Umeh to the alleged crime established in the course of investigation as such no enough evidence abound to ground the allegation linking Dr. Oliver Nnamdi Umeh, please’’.
The IGP’s clearance was endorsed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Homicide), Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID), DCP Ayim Abraham.
The report categorically showed that the allegations against Dr Oliver Nnamdi Umeh was cooked up to tarnish his image and destroy his medical reputation and that of his hospital as good Children’s Clinic in and around Onitsha.
It was reported October 2015, four years ago, that a baby girl’s ear was allegedly cut off in that hospital for ritual purposes, and the report found space in some online and conventional media as alleged by Mr. Igwe Solomon, father of the dead child whose body was mutilated.
The media reports were without obtaining the side of the Medical Director, Dr. Oliver Nnamdi Umeh even though reporters claimed that he was unreachable as at the press time then. He was still in shock of such allegedly happening in his hospital. He was equally not on duty when all these happened, though he is the owner. He got undue press reportage.
It would further be recalled that the parents of the dead child, Mr. Solomon and Mrs. Bridget Igwe from Ebonyi state but resident in Awada, suburb of Onitsha, petitioned the Anambra state Children’s Parliament led by the then Speaker, Right Hon (Amb) Edden-Rex Abarah for intervention, claiming police investigation failed.
Abarah petitioned Governor Willie Obiano’s wife, Chief Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano for intervention alleging that Dr. Oliver Nnamdi Umeh killed the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Igwe. He too did not reflect the side of Dr. Umeh in his petition. He as well alleged a police cover up. In the petition, the father of the baby admitted the baby had jaundice before they brought her to Victory Hospital and Children’s Clinic Onitsha. Igwe petitioned the Nigeria Police and the case was assigned to AIG, Zone 9, Umuahia for investigation.
The array of petitions to the police and the Ministry of Health Anambra State painted a picture of someone trying to sustain the narrative that the accused was guilty despite ongoing police investigation.
Second petition went to IGP, DIG Umuahia, DSS, Governor’s wife, Ebonyi NMA, Director of Medical Services, Anambra state who searched up for Dr Umeh’s file, kept a copy in his file and tried severally to invite Mr. Igwe to show up and authenticate his petition but he never showed up. It was referred as frivolous petition and Dr. Umeh asked to go after visiting Awka severally on invitation of the Director Medical services.
And after four years of painstaking investigation, Dr. Umeh has been cleared as innocent in the saga and all accusations against him considered null and void according to police investigation's report.