Summoned: KAI officials to explain how woman lost 6-month pregnancy in their hands

by Chi Ibe


Investigations into the claims that a woman lost her unborn child while in detention at the Lagos state Kick Against Indiscipline, KAI office for going to the hospital during the state’s sanitation has commenced.

The Lagos State Office of Public Defender on Friday summoned officials of KAI on the matter that allegedly aggravated the pains causing Nkechi Omakagu to lose a six-month-old pregnancy.

Last week, we reported how Omakagu said she spent eight hours in KAI custody and had to give the KAI oficials N5, 000 before her eventual release.

The Punch reports:

Our correspondent learnt that following a petition addressed to the state Attorney General’s Office, the OPD, a department under the Ministry of Justice, took up the case and all parties were invited.

A source, who was at the meeting, told our correspondent on the telephone that the KAI officials said they were not aware that Omakagu was pregnant and thought that she was pretending about her medical condition.

The source said, “When we met with OPD, the KAI officials, who had detained Nkechi (Omakagu), denied that she was pregnant and said even if she was, they did not know. The KAI men said they refused to let her go because whenever they arrested people on environmental sanitation day, there was always an excuse.”

It was learnt that due to KAI official’s claim, the OPD said it would be necessary for Omakagu to undergo a medical examination at a public hospital to determine if she was actually pregnant at the time she was arrested.

The source said, “She (Omakagu) had received treatment at a private hospital where she was also diagnosed with having premature contractions. It was also the hospital that evacuated the dead foetus from her womb. So what we were told was that for the sake of objectivity, a public hospital would need to carry out independent medical examination.

“It was said that based on the outcome of the medical examination at the public hospital, the government would be advised so it could determine the next line of action.”

The Director OPD, Omotola Rotimi, however, said she had not been briefed on the matter. But a senior employee at the agency confirmed the incident to our correspondent on the telephone.

She said, “We want to establish if the lady’s pregnancy loss was caused by KAI’s detention or something else. Also, we want our doctors at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital to give us their own report for the sake of objectivity.

“If it is established that the victim lost her pregnancy due to the detention, then the KAI officials will be prosecuted.”

Meanwhile the government said the outcome of OPD’s investigation would lead to a quick resolution of the issue.

The Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba, in a statement on Sunday said although Omakagu contravened the law, the government was committed to the protection of lives and property as well as rights of every residents of the state.

Ibirogba said, “In order to set the record straight, it is pertinent to state that the said Nkechi Omakagu actually contravened the law and was apprehended and later released on the day.

“After her release, Nkechi Omakagu drew the attention of the Commissioner for the Environment to the issue, who immediately ordered an investigation to unravel her claim of alleged detention and extortion.”

The commissioner said before Bello’s instruction could be carried out, Omakagu had petitioned OPD and the Ministry of Justice, which took over the matter.

According to Ibirogba, the OPD has commenced full investigation into the matter and even invited the parties for interrogation on Friday.

He said, “As an administration that believes in the rule of law, Lagos State Government will await the outcome of the investigations.

“We remain committed to OPD’s handling of the issue. We advise all parties to subject themselves to the investigation by OPD as this will lead us to the quick resolution of the matter.

“This administration is committed to the protection of lives and property as well as rights of every individual within the ambience of the Laws of the land.”


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