There was mild drama on Sunday at the Edo Specialist Hospital in Benin City when personnel of the State Security Service (SSS) clashed with private guards and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) over the alleged refusal of medical personnel to attend to one of their colleagues.
It was gathered that the SSS brought in one of its officers alleged to have slumped during a meeting in the office in Benin for medical attention but it was alleged that the medical officer failed to respond to the SSS official on arrival at the hospital.
Following the melee, some persons including private security guards and a female NSCDC personnel on duty at the hospital sustained injuries due to the fracas that ensued.
It, however, took the intervention of the police who were called from the Oba Market Police Station and the Chief Security Officer (CSO), at Government House to wade into the situation.
Witnesses said they observed an unmarked white Hilux Van conveying the victims, wearing a jacket at the hospital premises.
An official of the SSS who didn’t disclose his name told journalists that they were in a meeting when the officer slumped and they rushed him to the Edo Specialist Hospital which is the closest to their office after checking his pulse at their clinic.
“But the reception we got on arrival was poor. It was our people that had to bring our colleague down from the vehicle. When you go to the hospital, courtesy demands that you bring the patient down and attend to him or her, at least show commitment but right in the car, they said they cannot carry him and we have to carry him down ourselves,” the source said.
Responding to the allegation, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr David Odiko said the patient was promptly attended to by the doctor who was on duty and confirmed him dead at the time they brought him in but that the SSS personnel refused to accept it.
“I was not in the hospital when the incident happened because I was in the court for a case, it was from there they called me and as at the time I came, they had left but I met policemen on the ground.
“They brought him as an emergency, he was said to have slumped and the doctor on duty went to check and he said he met the guy lying on the seat of the car and that there was no breathing movement in the chest and abdomen which is the first you see before proceeding to check if there was still pulse and heartbeat which were also absent. Despite that, he still proceeded to do CPR but there was no response.
“The diagnosis the doctor made was that he was brought in dead and they said they were not going to take that and they personally moved him into our facility and dropped him on the floor. I was told that another group of personnel moved, they actually injured the Civil Defence personnel that was on duty on her ,” he said.