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Controversy trails death of LUTH consultant

•NMA sets up probe committee
•Lagos warns against altering autopsy report

By Chioma Obinna & Monsuru Olowoopejo

As controversy trails the death of Dr. Hestianna Thomas, a  consultant pediatrician with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba, the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, yesterday, instituted on investigation to unravel the cause of death.

Meantime, Lagos State government has warned  that it would not accept  alteration of the autopsy report on the death, saying “it was aware of the case and the evidence showing the pains the deceased suffered before death.”

Sunday Vanguard gathered that  Hestianna was rushed to LUTH where she was confirmed dead.    But in reaction to the death of the doctor, many have refuted the claim by her husband, Dr. Babafemi Thomas, a pathologist, that the deceased committed suicide.

Immediate past President of Mental and Dental Council of Nigeria, MEDC, Dr. Steven Oluwani, in an interview with journalists, lamented: “We are mourning Dr. Hestianna Thomas.”

He noted that controversy was dogging the death of the doctor, adding: “The truth can only be revealed through an authentic autopsy. Through that, we can get the details of  the circumstances surrounding the death of the doctor since injury was discovered on her corpse.”

Oluwani stated that, through this, “everyone will know if the injury had any connection with her death or not.”

It was learned that the death brought confusion to the NMA, Lagos, as the deceased and her husband  were members of the organization. And in a bid to ascertain the cause of her death, NMA has raised  a committee to conduct an autopsy on the corpse.

Chairman of NMA, Lagos, Dr. Tope Ojo, in an interview with Sunday Vanguard, said: “This is a sensitive issue. We are aware of the information being circulated as the cause of her death. But I can say that it is all  rumour. We are working with all stakeholders including the Nigeria  Police to investigate the cause of her death.”

Ojo noted that NMA cannot take any position over the death of Hestianna, noting: “This was why we have decided to investigate the issue. We are doing this also not because she was our member. But this is what we often do for any complicated issue like this”.

Speaking on the issue, the coordinator of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, DSVRT, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, in an interview with Sunday Vanguard, last night: “We have written to the police and other stakeholders over the issue. And if after the report we notice any foul play, we will not accept the result.”

She noted that the report at their disposal revealed that the deceased was found in  a pool of her own blood; indicating that she could have been  a victim of domestic violence.


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