Controversy has arisen over the death of a 29-year-old graduate of
the University of Bauchi, Kolawole Idowu, at the Lagos State University
Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
Family members of the victim said
although Kolawole died at LASUTH, they believed his condition was
worsened by doctors at the Ikeja Medical Centre, a private facility on
Allen Avenue, Ikeja.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Kolawole, who concluded his youth service in Lagos sometime in April, took ill a few days afterwards.
was reported to have complained of “teary eyes and body pains” and had
gone to the Ikeja Medical Centre, which was the family hospital. It was
gathered that like other children of the family, he was born at the
After a doctor allegedly recommended some malaria drugs
and later an eye drop, the situation was said to have worsened, leading
to his admission to the hospital.
Our correspondent was told that
the hospital later said he was manifesting signs of a mental illness and
began treating him for “psychosis.”
When there was no
improvement, the hospital was said to have referred him to LASUTH, where
he went into a coma and later died at the Intensive Care Unit.
victim’s brother, Kunle, told PUNCH Metro that his late brother’s
medical condition was not handled properly at the medical centre, adding
that he was given some injections which affected his health.
alleged that the injections made him to misbehave, saying anytime the
effect of the injections wore off, he would regain his senses, run back
home and beg to be taken away from the hospital.
He explained that
when he (Kunle) observed that their maternal grandparents were adamant
on keeping him (Kolawole) at the hospital, he challenged them and broke
some property in the house, which led to his arrest and detention.
said, “The illness started at the end of April, about a week after his
youth service. I am a politician and I was running a campaign to become a
councillor at that period. Kola complained that he had been having
burning sensations all over his body and his eyes had been teary. I
advised him to go for a lab test, but he said he would go to our family
hospital. He went to the hospital where he was given an eye drop, which
he started reacting adversely to.
“He went back to the medical
centre and he was told that he had malaria. The doctor prescribed a
malaria drug for him. However, he started reacting negatively again to
the drug. That was when the doctor said he was having fits of delirium
and showing signs of dementia.”
He explained that the
doctor insisted on admitting Kolawole, but he objected, adding that the
grandparents believed the doctor and supported the move.
first week of his admission, Kunle said he was not satisfied with his
brother’s treatment, but the hospital assured him that Kolawole needed
He noted that he became concerned when Kolawole’s friends,
who also visited the hospital, made similar observations. He said he
asked for the victim’s transfer to another hospital.
Kunle said he
met the grandparents and asked for permission to move his brother from
the hosipital, but they objected due to the family’s long-time
relationship with the hospital.
“I was angry with the
hospital because they kept saying different things. First, it was
delirium, then stress. They kept giving him injections. My brother was
always saying he wanted to leave the hospital. Once he said that, they
would say he had started again and give him more injections.
told them that my brother was not mentally ill; he wanted to leave the
hospital because they didn’t know what they were doing,” Kunle said.
He added that because of his increasing political engagement, the time he had for Kolawole became limited.
PUNCH Metro learnt that there was a crisis in the house on May 17, 2017, when late Kolawole ran home from the hospital.
grandparents were reported to have called a doctor at the medical
centre to come with an injection for psychiatric patients to calm him
down, a suggestion rejected by Kunle.
“I was angry
because each time they give him the injection, he lost his senses. They
(grandparents) asked me to shut up. For two weeks, that was what they
told me. I was angry and I couldn’t take it again because I knew the
doctor was on the way with the injection. I lost control and started
shouting that they should not give him any drug.
“He was always
coming home each time he realised that they were not treating him well.
But my grandparents would take him back and he would obey so that he
would not look like a disobedient child. The injection was killing him.
day, they asked the house help to lock the door. Because I could not
sit down and watch him take another injection, I broke the door and left
the house,” he added.
PUNCH Metro learnt that some relatives alerted the police of Kunle’s action and he was detained for a day.
Kunle said after that incident, he was told that his brother’s condition had aggravated and he had been taken to LASUTH.
He explained that Kolawole was admitted to the psychiatric ward of LASUTH, based on a referral letter from the medical centre.
said his brother was put in the same ward with patients who had serious
mental problems and he spent about 10 days in the ward.
was later taken to the ICU where he spent two months and struggled to
live. But the damage had been done because my brother had spent two
weeks at the medical centre, 10 days at LASUTH psychiatric ward before
he collapsed and was taken to the ICU.
“Some specialists at LASUTH
later examined him and said it was not a psychotic case. They moved him
to the ICU because he was at the point of death. I watched over him at
the ICU for the two months.
“At one point, the seizure he was
having stopped, and I thought he was getting better, not knowing my
brother was dying,” he said.
PUNCH Metro learnt that
the Idowu family comprised four children – Kunle, Kolawole, Adeniyi and a
younger sister who is in the United States.
The children’s father died while they were young, while their mother, Mrs. Mopelola Osiyemi, travelled to the US in 2016.
Adeniyi, who studied in the Cyprus University, got a job in Dubai where he is now based.
and Kola, however, stayed with their grandparents at their family house
on Bolanle Close, Allen Avenue, not far from the Ikeja Medical Centre.
who said he was on holiday in Nigeria, told PUNCH Metro that he was
shocked that his brother, who laughed with him during their time
together, suddenly lost control of himself and went into a coma.
insisting that Kolawole was not a drug addict, he said he had arranged
with an Iranian doctor to move him out of the country, but was told that
the brother must come out of a coma before he could be flown out.
said, “The doctors at LASUTH told us that he was not mad; that he had
bacteria which probably got into his brain. They said the medical
practitioners at the first hospital messed him up. I called a doctor
friend, who said my brother had an infection called meninges and it
affected his brain. She said antibiotics could have cured him.
day he spent at the ICU cost us N50,000. And that was aside the
N100,000 on drugs and another N500,000 on a particular test. We spent
millions of naira on treatment.
“When my brother died, we had to
give out some of the drugs he didn’t use. But my eldest brother, Kunle,
decided to bring home a particular one recommended for us from the
medical centre, called Haloperidol. When I googled it, I discovered that
my brother manifested the exact signs stated in the abuse of the drug,
including stiffness and coma, before he died.”
Metro was told that the deceased, who marked his 29th birthday in coma
on June 23, became a graduate in 2013 after studying Accounting.
Our correspondent was told that he died around 4pm on July 1, 2017, at the ICU of LASUTH.
brother, Kolawole, has never slept at a hospital before. We want the
hospital investigated. We want the government and the Nigerian Medical
Association to intervene,” Olaniyi said.
The victim’s mother,
Mopelola, in an emotional message she broadcast on Whatsapp a few days
to her son’s death, alleged that the doctor who treated him apologised
to the family.
“To God be the glory; this is very
said. But I must tell it. I gave birth to Kolawole 29 years ago at the
same hospital that administered wrong medication that has put him in a
life-threatening condition. The doctor that started his treatment went
to my aged father of 86 years to apologise, confessing that he gave
Kolawole a wrong medication.
“I believe this is the beginning of
Kolawole’s healing process. What can I do at this stage? We are spending
millions on hospital treatment in an intensive care unit because of one
little mistake that shouldn’t have happened. God, you know best.
Kolawole must live to testify to your glory,” the message read.
told our correspondent on the telephone after the son’s death that the
hospital must be held accountable for the alleged mistake.
said, “He was never diagnosed. I don’t know my son as a drug addict. I
left Nigeria 11 months ago; are they saying he took to drugs within that
period, a son I have known for a long time? They should have conducted
proper checks on him. We have spent millions of naira just because of
“They insisted on treating him even when they lacked the competence because of the money they wanted to make from my family.”
Metro had a meeting with the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof.
Adewale Oke, and some top principal officers of the government hospital.
Oke said there was a limit to the information that could be released due to the ethics of the medical profession.
He noted that Kolawole was examined and treated by specialists.
hospital’s consultant psychiatrist, Dr Atilola Olayinka, said he was
the first to have contact with Kolawole after he was brought to the
He said, “He came in as an emergency case
and we didn’t have any other information to make us doubt the fact that
it was most likely an ongoing psychiatric illness. On that basis, we
received him to manage him for the illness.
“In the course of
treatment,we,however,saw other symptoms that did not jell with a pure
case of psychiatric illness. We investigated and called in our medical
team to review it with us. When his level of consciousness was going
down, we had to move him to the ICU.”
medical officer, one Dr Bamisile, said he observed fissures, including
epileptic fits, neck stiffness and running fever.
saw that he could have some organic problems, apart from a functional
psychosis. The following day, I went to see him and observed that his
consciousness was going. I examined and saw that there were other
medical issues. He was jerking and had epileptic seizures. His neck was
also stiff. He had running fever at a time,” he added.
He explained that the deceased also had fissures and inflammation of the brain, “which could be caused by some organism.”
At this point, Bamisile said he asked that a microbiologist and a professor of neurology attend to Kolawole.
consultant neurologist, Dr Olaitan Ojelabi, said the 29-year-old
appeared “febrile, with restive signs and other symptoms, pointing at a
case of meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the linings of the brain).”
“This condition could be caused by bacteria. To treat this, we upgraded his antibiotics, among other treatments,” he added.
The Consultant Anaesthesia, Dr A.A. Majekodunmi, said the victim was later placed on a life-support machine.
about two weeks in the ICU, he started having problems with breathing
and we had to put him on a ventilator to help him breathe. We repeated
some investigations to find out what was wrong with him. The family was
aware of the prognosis, and they were aware when it was getting worse.
We saw that he was not responding to some medications that we gave him.
Eventually, we had to put him on a supportive medication for his blood
pressure until he eventually died. He was on life support for about a
month before he passed on,” she said.
A professor of
Neurology, Prof. Yomi Ogun, expressed sadness at the death of Kolawole,
saying a partial autopsy revealed the deceased’s brain was swollen.
He noted that nobody could tell what really killed him “until the autopsy is subjected to histology.”
said, “He had inflammation of the brain. If you have meningitis, there
are two signs that we look out for, which were there. And maybe, some
signs of inflammation; but we need to subject it to a histology for a
“When you suspect that your patient has
meningitis, what you need to do is to commence a therapeutic trial of
anti-TB medication. Because the moment they get unconscious, it might be
difficult to reverse it and that was also done.
“By the time I
got to see him, he was already in a coma. He was having convulsions all
the while. We modified his treatment and he was stabilised for a few
The CMD of LASUTH, Oke, said the hospital
started treatment based on the referral letter from the Ikeja Medical
Centre, adding that nothing in the letter showed a case of malaria.
referral letter stated categorically that he had a mental issue. There
was never a question of malaria. When patients come like that, we take
them as we see them and we manage them based on whatever our specialties
“He had been outside our hospital for two weeks. The
referral letter brought here says he had been having neuro-psychiatric
symptoms,” he added.
Efforts by our correspondent to
speak with Ikeja Medical Centre were frustrated by the hospital. Its
workers harassed our correspondent during a visit to the facility on