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Family of the late Rivers graduate wants justice three months after.

23rd May 2024

The deceased

The deceased, Rebekah Sekidika.

Three months after Rebekah Sekidika, a first-class graduate of the Benson Idahosa University, Benin, Edo State died while undergoing a medical procedure at the ‘Paragon Clinics and Images’ in Port Harcourt, the family has decried the delay in charging the matter to court.

Recall that the 24-year-old graduate of Microbiology was preparing for a trip to the United Kingdom for her Master’s before the incident occurred

Her father, Sampson Sekidika,  had alleged that Rebekah died from the “negligence and incompetence” of the medical personnel who performed the procedure on her, saying the deceased complaint did not require surgery.

Speaking to Reporter in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Mr. Sekidika, a staff of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas expressed sadness that despite the release of the autopsy and toxicology report the matter had yet to be charged to court where according to him he hopes to get justice.

He stated, “Recall that the Rivers State Commissioner of Health formed a panel of inquiry to look into the matter when my daughter passed. So everybody came to a point including the State Commissioner of Police and every other interested party came to the point where we were waiting for the autopsy and the toxicology report which came out three weeks ago.

“The police informed us so on the strength of that they asked my lawyer to apply for a copy which we did.

“When we got a copy of it we sent it to the panel of inquiry formed by the Rivers State Commissioner of Health to look into the matter as well. Other copies went to the relevant bodies.”

He added, “We have also subjected the autopsy and toxicology report to expert reviews and we have their opinions about the cause of death of my daughter. So I can effectively say the cause of death is known and all we are waiting for is for the matter to be charged to Court.

“But it is a bit worrisome that after three weeks since we heard from the police, nothing has happened. But I know that there are processes involved and I know that the Commissioner of Police and his team will do the needful to take this matter to Court so that we can get the desired justice.”

The distraught man said that justice will not bring back his daughter “but will bring some sort of closure to the case.”

He added, “In addition to that it will bring sanity to the medical practitioners so that they will be more careful because my daughter’s death was purely out of negligence and incompetence.

“That matter will be addressed once the matter is charged to court. And I want the matter to be charged to court immediately. I believe something will be done and something is being done and I know we will get justice and the justice will serve as a deterrent to other medical practitioners to be a bit more careful in their practices so that we don’t lose more lives in the course of their practice.”

Asked if the panel set up by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Adaeze Oreh, has made its findings known he said, “What happened was that when the panel was constituted, they called the various parties for an interview as at then just like a month ago we all gave our testimonies as to what happened.

“So, when we got hold of the autopsy and the toxicology report we made copies and sent them to the panel for review. The chairman of the panel acknowledged receipt and they too have analyzed the report I’m very sure they have their expert view and opinions about it, and we have also sent copies of it to the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council for review as well.

“So all of these processes are on and we also are subjected to expert review from our consultations and Doctors we sent it to. So they have all given their opinions and reviews on what killed my daughter. So what killed her is known and we know we will get justice.”

He added, “I will need the help of the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalyi Fubara, and his Commissioner for Health to give a lot of push to this.

“We don’t want any form of delay anymore and things that will give us some concern in this case. I’m not pushing this case to indict people and to say okay this was, this was. I’m pushing it to sanitize the system.

“I can’t bring my daughter back but we need to get to the root of this so that you know there will be sanity in the system. But if in the course of getting sanity whatever ensues it is entirely left to the court to decide what it wants to do with it,” he added.

He said since February 2 when she passed on in unclear circumstances, the family has been traumatized.

“It has been mentally very draining, mentally it is something like I have always said that I don’t even wish my enemy to go through this kind of trauma.

“It is a mental trauma for the family and the ones she left behind. So, I will say losing a 24-year-old daughter, someone who was healthy, nothing was wrong with her. I took her to the Hospital that faithful day and never brought her back. It is traumatic.

“It is something that every day we cry in our hearts we let it out in our closets every day. So it is not an easy thing at all for the family. But we know time is the healer of everything. We can never heal from this I don’t think so but God will help us and see us through,” he concluded.

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