Thursday, July 10

 7/10/2014         No comments


Reprieve may have finally come the way of Dr. Agelebe Efeturi of Life Line Hospital Osogbo, Osun State, alleged to have connived with two nurses to swap a male baby with female after delivery in the hospital.
For over a year, Agelebe and two of his nurses stood trial over their alleged involvement in the swapping of the one day old baby. He was arrested and prosecuted alongside the nurses. But recently, the state Ministry of Justice absolved him of any complicity in the case.

Agelebe and one of the nurses, Mrs. Mujidat Kareem, were accused by a parent of allegedly conniving to swap his male child with another female child. Despite the result of the DNA test conducted, the parent insisted that his child was swapped with another one.

However, in a letter addressed to the Assistant Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), the ministry absolved Agelebe and Kareem from the alleged offence. It declared that the parents of the said baby, Mr. and Mrs. Nurudeen Ibrahim, who accused them of swapping their male baby for a female one, had no evidence to prove that the baby they brought to the hospital was a male child.

According to the letter signed by Mr Muyiwa Ogunleye, for the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mr. Dapo Adeniji, the DNA test of the female child that was rejected by the parents on the claim that she was not their child, matched her twin sister’s and mother’s.

The wrong incident occurred when Semia Nurudeen, mother of the baby, gave birth to a set of purported male twins at the Spring Specialist Hospital, Osogbo, on March 2, 2013 around 2am. One of the twins was prematurely delivered. The parents rushed the other surviving twin to Lifeline Hospital for intensive care.

The baby was reportedly placed in the incubator by a nurse on night duty, Kareem, while the pediatrician, Agelebe, directed the nurse on phone for necessary action needed to take to save the life of the baby.

On March 6, 2013, the father of the baby, Nurudeen, raised an alarm that his child who was still in the intensive care in the hospital had been changed. He claimed he brought a male child to the hospital and not a female child that the doctor and nurses had been treating for four days. He said his wife gave birth to a set of male twins prematurely at Spring Hospital and the only surviving one was handed over to a nurse at the Lifeline Hospital in his presence.

Agelebe and two other nurses were arrested and detained by the police on the allegation of baby swapping. Kareem was charged to court. Investigation, however, revealed that there was no referral letter from Spring Hospital to Lifeline Hospital when the baby was rushed to the latter. It was also gathered that there was no record establishing the sex of the twins at the former hospital before the surviving one was rushed to Lifeline Hospital.

The result of the DNA test of the babies and their mother matched, an indication that the female baby at Lifeline Hospital which the parents claimed was not their child, was actually their own.

The letter from the ministry reads in parts: “It is very clear that the evidence available in the file, coupled with evidence of the specialist and an independent party as well as medical expert from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, confirmed from analysis that the female child, the dead baby and their mother’s blood correlated. There is no doubt that the mother is the bearer of the baby girl.

“The complainant has not established a prima-facie case against the accused, because looking at the record attached to this case file, it was shown that the baby from Spring Hospital, Testing Ground, Igbona, has no record that indicates whether the baby is a male or female.
“It was also revealed that the corpse of the deceased baby was exhumed and subjected to post mortem examination by a consultant pathologist of OAUTCH and some body parts were also collected and sent to medical laboratory at Ibadan alongside the mother of the baby and the living child for DNA profiling. The result shows that the deceased is a female child and correlated with the mother and the living baby. It is advised that the accused is not found culpable of any offence. I advise that Kareem Mujidat should not be charged for any offence.”

Kareem told spoke with Daily Sun: “I checked the sex of the baby when her father brought her to the hospital. She was a baby girl. The father was looking at me when I was treating her. I registered the child in the presence of her father. I was told the twin sister of the baby girl was a premature child.

“There was no referral letter from Spring Specialist Hospital, Osogbo, where the child was referred to our hospital. I treated the baby because she was in critical condition and I could not be asking for referral letter in that situation.

“On the fourth day, the matron of the hospital called me on

phone that the father of the baby said the baby on the bed was not his child, that he brought a male child to the hospital. I considered it as fallacy and the matron insisted that I must come to the hospital.

“When I got to the hospital, I met the father and he was insisting that he brought a male child to the hospital. All efforts to explain and convince the man that he brought a twin female baby to the hospital proved abortive. The father was not listening to any explanation.

“I was arrested by the police. I was detained for three days. I missed my exam at the School of Health Technology, Ilesa. I was charged to court for offence I knew nothing about. At the end of the day, the court discharged and acquitted me based on the advice from the Ministry of Justice.”

Agelebe said he did not collect money from the parents of the child as deposit before giving the baby necessary medical attention, reiterating that the baby brought to his hospital was a female as confirmed by the nurse on duty.

He explained that a premature female baby could be mistaken for a male child, adding that the clitoris of the twin brought to his hospital was big enough to mistake it for a male organ. Stating that he never swapped the baby as falsely accused, Agelebe said that the parents of the baby might be confused by the clitoris of the child they rushed to his hospital. He stressed that he took care of the baby for over eight months after her parents abandoned her in the hospital.

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