Adeleke’s Death: Some difficult questions left unanswered
By Gbenga Olarinoye
AS the nation eagerly awaits the verdicts of the Coroner’s Inquest into the sudden death of the first civilian governor of Osun State, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, popularly known as “Serubawon” by his political admirers, concerns being expressed by the discerning minds is whether the outcome of the Inquest serve the purpose for which it was set up or whether it would cause further damage to the psyche of the bereaved family.
The coroner, chief Magistrate Ayilara, had at the last sitting on Monday fixed Monday May 29, for presentation of its findings which lasted 15 days. Governor Aregbesola had on May 2, this year while signing the Executive Order on Coroners Inquest into Adeleke’s death said he was acting under the Coroner Law Cap 32 Vol I Law of Osun 2002. He also appointed Mr Olusegun Ayilara, a Chief Magistrate, as the head of the inquest.
Coroner’s inquest: The governor directed that the inquest be carried out in Osogbo within three weeks.According to Aregbesola, the inquest became necessary because of the suddenness and the circumstances surrounding the death of the Senator and the first civilian governor of the state.
The governor stated that a coroner’s inquest is a long established procedure dating back to the eighth century and is generally applied in the interest of the community to investigate sudden, natural and unexplained death of a person.
“A sudden and an unexplained death of a person of high status must be investigated and documented. Therefore, the status of our brother, late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, the suddenness and the circumstances of his death will propel a responsible government to set up an inquest to unravel the circumstances of his death. History will not be kind to us as a government if we fail to conduct an inquest into the circumstances surrounding his death.
“We must do this for historical purposes because it is in the general interest of the community and state to investigate any sudden or unnatural death of this nature,” Aregbesola said.
The inquest which commenced its proceedings on May 8, this year at the premises of the state High Court, Osogbo, summoned a total of 15 witnesses to appear before the coroner and 10 of them appeared before the panel to give evidence on the circumstances surrounding Adeleke’s death.
According to Ayilara, it was obvious that the remaining summoned five witnesses deliberately disregarded the coroner; hence there was no need to continue adjourning their appearance when the panel has limited time. Ayilara submitted that he would not force anybody to appear; neither would he wait till eternity for them to appear. He thereafter adjourned sitting of the coroner till May 29, 2017 for presentation of findings.
The Adeleke family members summoned before the panel and who failed to honour the invitation, included Dr. Deji Adeleke, Mrs. Dupe Adeleke and Mr. Dipo Faborode. The family described it as self-serving. The family at a formal press conference addressed by Deji and which has in attendance other members of the family, derided the Coroner as premeditated in nature with the outcome of it already known to government.
Chief Medical Directors of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, and Biket Hospital, Osogbo, Professor Akeem Lasisi and Dr Adebisi Adenle, a pathologist from LAUTECH, Dr Olufemi Solaja and one Oni Lukman, all gave evidence to the coroner.
Also, Deputy Governor of the State, Mrs Titi-Laoye Tomori, who shared a table with the late Adeleke at an event, the Senatorial Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun West District who hosted the event, Alhaji Yinusa Amobi and Adeleke’s political follower, Engineer Olasunkanmi Olaniyi who also hosted another event attended by the deceased had also testified before the coroner.
The Osun State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fimihan Adeoye, the Divisional Police Officer, Dugbe Police Station, Osogbo, Mr Ogunkanmi Gbemileke, the Officer-in-Charge, Homicide, Mr Moses Eleta and Mr Alfred Aderibigbe, a nurse who treated Adeleke before his death appeared before the coroner. In his evidence, Solaja ruled out poison as the cause of Adeleke’s death, saying that there were no traces of poison or metals in toxicology examination.
Solaja, who is the Consultant, Anatomic Pathologist at the LAUTECH hospital, said the pathological examination carried out on Adeleke’s corpse revealed that the deceased consumed excessive alcohol and was given an over dose of sedative and analgesic medicines.
The pathologist, who was led in evidence by Mrs Oyindamola Daramola, a Senior Legal Officer for LAUTECH hospital, explained that histology of the tissues from the body of the deceased was normal except from the heart which showed hypertrophy, adding that the liver showed alcoholic steato-hypatitis.
Family cries foul: But while awaiting the outcome of the coronary inquest set up by the state government, the family of late Adeleke, in its latest statement raised the alarm that with barely one month after it had taken the body of the late politician for autopsy at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital LAUTECTH Osogbo for autopsy, the management of the hospital is yet to make the result available to the family.
They also claimed that the hospital has also not returned the remaining samples of tissues taken from the body of late Adeleke to enable the family order for more comprehensive autopsy. The family in a statement signed by Dr Deji Adeleke and made available to newsmen alleged complicity by the hospital’s management on the issue of the autopsy.
It would be recalled that the Osun State Government had, few days after the Adeleke’s family had taken the body to the hospital for autopsy raised an inquest into the circumstances that led to his death.
The three man panel, which was given three weeks to submit its reports completed its sittings on Monday and had fixed next Monday to release its verdict on the post mortem.
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