An ‘overjoyed’ Nigerian mother, Obby Ugochukwu Essien took to Facebook to narrate how she finally got justice four years after her son was allegedly killed at a private hospital, De Vitals Cares Hospital, Ilogbo in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The lady had taken her two-year-five-month-old son to De Vitals Cares Hospital at Babalola Bus Stop in Ilogbo for treatment On December 9, 2015, but she said the hospital did not give her son the appropriate treatment. After her son eventually died, she petitioned the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria over the incident.
A disciplinary tribunal set up by the MCDN found that the hospital had no qualified staff, and also suspended the doctor who was found guilty on July 9, 2019, 4 years after the incident occurred. Narrating the outcome of the disciplinary tribunal, she wrote;
They said I was making noise on social media. I cried and then I laughed and we continued to fight. They said I was seeking for fame through the death of my son( I mean!!! Who does that????). I laughed and then I cried and we continued to fight.
Go to court! Go to court!!!! They screamed. Do you know I have to wait for the MDCN to investigate first, I asked? We continued to fight. We read his counter-affidavit filled with imaginary events. We were shocked at the audacity. I cried some more, but we continued to fight.
Attached were the case notes. Exact same writing, two different nurses. We rolled our eyes and even laughed, and…we continued to
Nurse Nike wrote that we were transferred to Isolo General hospital. This was laughable! MARCEY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL LAGOS ISLAND was boldly written behind the referral envelope. The only reason why ‘Nurse Nike’ knew we went to Isolo general hospital, was because she must have read my interview with the Punch Newspapers in February 2016, two months after Shawn died! The fight continued.
We did our investigations and found out that not one staff present at the time of Shawn’s death was qualified! Ah!!!! I wept. I was broken. I was in a hospital. Surrounded with people wearing white coats, uniforms and stethoscopes but they were all laymen…just like me! It hurt me to the marrow. I fought harder!
In December 2016, Vitalis mezie was suspended pending the sitting of the disciplinary tribunal. We heaved a sigh of relief, but guess what? We continued to fight!!!
In April 2019 the MDCN disciplinary tribunal wrote a letter. And the madness began. Calls from my village folk, because Vitalis Mezie’s kinsmen paid a visit. Apparently I wanted to send their dearest Dr son to jail?. There were unexpected visits to my family members. My parents house was visited. Strange visits, strange calls, threats and warnings! We decided “we have seen 99. Seeing 100 will not make a difference!” . Let’s fight harder! Justice must be served.
April 8-12 2019. MDCN disciplinary tribunal commenced. Lies were told. Stories were made up. His lawyer referred to me as ‘stubborn’. It came across as a compliment and made me fight some more!
July 9 2019 there was another disciplinary tribunal! He was found GUILTY! His lawyers pleaded for leniency. The tribunal was lenient. Will the courts be lenient? Will the Almighty God be lenient? I guess you already know the answers to my question.
WE FOUGHT HARD! WE FOUGHT WELL!! WE SOLDIER ON!!!! SHAWN KAINYECHIEKENE EDEM-OBONG ESSIEN. YOU ARE DEEPLY LOVED. 2nd of July 2013- 10th of December 2015. Even twins do not have the exact same writing, but nurse Nike and nurse Gbemi do!
When Mr P and I went to Abuja for the tribunal in April, we changed hotels thrice! We felt very unsafe and watched our backs 24/7! The way we and our families were being disturbed, harassed and bothered by these people was not funny at all!!!! One particular woman whom I’m still hoping to see face to face, so that I can give her a piece of my mind said to me “Dr’s wife was my school daughter in high school. If his licence is seized or he is sent to jail, it will be unfair. Two wrongs don’t make a right”. Ahhhhhhhh!!!!! IT’S UNFAIR? TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT? So I did wrong by petitoning the medical and dental council? I should have kept mute and allowed medical negligence and malpractice thrive? Nooooooo! I won’t….and I didn’t!
They wanted me to call the MDCN and tell them I wasn’t interested in the case anymore and therefore wasn’t interested in the disciplinary tribunal. SMH. Why should I and how is that even possible? The letter the MDCN sent to me clearly states ‘The chairman medical and dental practitioners investigative panel VS Vitalis Nwiku Mezie’. I was only asked to be present as a prosecution witness. It is not me Vs him YET! My time is coming. Let him face the MDCN for now!
During the tribunal Vitalis Mezie said that he went for a court case the day my son died and left his night duty Dr in charge. The night duty Dr couldn’t take over morning duty and invited his friend to take over the hospital. He was asked if he at least spoke to the new Dr(David Sambo) to find out who he was. He said he didn’t and he didn’t have to, because he was ‘told’ the guy is a Dr and had worked in another popular hospital. In his words ” that is how we do it”. So, because you do it that way, it makes it right?
Let me take you back a little. In 2016, Way before the tribunal,my father inlaw and some plain-clothe police officers from the police headquarters Ikeja went to Vitalis’s hospital and asked to see the Dr in charge. A certain ‘Dr’ called Raphael Akor introduced himself as the Dr in charge. They started asking him questions about the events that happened on the day my son died. He said he was the person who got David Sambo to take charge of the hospital because he had to Attend Shiloh 2015. He was asked for an evidence to show he is a licenced Dr and this was when he admitted to actually being a nurse! This is to say Vitalis never actually left his hospital in the care of a doctor in the first instance. Raphael Akor was arrested by the police and he spent a few days in custody and then released.
Will a hairstylist leave her apprentices to take charge of her salon in her absence? No she/he wont, because they do not want to have to repay clients for damaged hair extensions and badly braided hair. Will a tailor leave his/her shop for someone he has never met or tested, to make clothes for his clients? Obviously not! But Vitalis left his hospital in the care of nurse Raphael Akor(whom insists Mezie knows David Sambo quite well), and nurse Raphael handed over the hospital to quack Sambo who didn’t even study medicine at all and then they all joined hands and killed my child! IT IS NOT OK!!!!
GUILTY! GUILTY!! GUILTY!!!! Vitalis Mezie is GUILTY as charged!