by Kolapo Olapoju
Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American man who imported the Ebola virus disease (EVD) to Nigeria, attempted to forcefully discharge himself from First Consultant Medical Centre, Obalende, and travel to Calabar, Cross River State, to attend an ECOWAS event.
Sawyer, who was a consultant with the Liberian ministry of finance, arrived Lagos on 20 July, when he collapsed and was subsequently taken to the hospital.
The hospital management told TheCable that they faced immense pressure and series of threats from the Liberian embassy in Nigeria, urging them to discharge Sawyer to attend the event in Calabar.
An official of the Liberian embassy repeatedly called the hospital to pressure them to release Sawyer, saying he had an important meeting to attend in Calabar.
“It got to a stage, the official started insulting us. All manner of insult and threatening language.”
The hospital says they initially tested for malaria and HIV, but both were negative, after which they told Sawyer that they would have to carry out further tests on him, who implored the hospital management to let him go.
“Sawyer was clearly not in good condition. He was a bit restless but we told him we needed to run other tests. It was in the process we discovered he had Ebola.”
The Liberian government has since apologised to the Nigerian federal government for failing to stop Sawyer from bringing the deadly Ebola virus into Nigeria.