Group Hails IG Over Handling of Placenta Theft

The Inspector-General of Police (IG), Kayode Egbetokun, has received praises for the prompt arrest of suspects accused of stealing the placenta of a new born baby in a private hospital in Kwara State

The suspects were taken from Ilofa to Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Thursday.

The Nigerian Human Rights Community in a statement by the group’s official, Taiwo Adeleye, said the arrest of the suspects was an important step towards securing justice for the family of Rotimi Williams whose wife accused health officials at a private hospital of stealing the placenta of her new born baby.

(NHRC, a coalition of 130 civil society groups spread across the country, on Thursday expressed delight at the arrest of the suspects by the police.

The group said it was aware of plots by some powerful individuals to clog the wheel of justice, but was delighted that the IG had brought hope to the despairing family.

It called for full investigation that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of all culprits.

Few days ago, Mrs Williams accused the management of Cottage Hospital, Ilofa, Kwara State, of failing to account for the placenta of her new born baby.

In complaints lodged with the NHRC, Mrs Williams said a nurse, Mrs Alabi took the delivery, one nurse Adeloye cleaned up the baby while one Mrs Toyin, a ward attendant claimed she mistakenly threw away the placenta.

“In Nigeria’s age-long tradition, the placenta is linked to the spiritual and physical wellbeing of a new born baby. There is a customary and age-long way of burying placenta of which every medical staff is aware.The disappearance of a baby’s placenta is a source of eternal trauma for the parents and a prelude to impugning the future of the child based on timeless tradition and beliefs,” the NHRC noted.

The coalition said the placenta could be stolen for rituals, adding that stealing a placenta was like killing the child or using the child for ritual by other means

The group vowed to follow up the case “day and night” to ensure justice was done.

The NHRC said Mrs Toyin brought out the mother’s bags from the labour room, but failed to take the placenta along.

The rights group said one Mrs Ayoni Awolusi, in the course of the delivery, claimed she was to be on duty, but was absent.

The medical personnel expected to be on duty was Dr. Ajibola

NHRC said Mrs Williams put to bed around 7:00pm on Sunday, May 12, but discovered the placenta placenta was missing very early on Monday, 13th May.

The group called on the IG to intensify the probe and ensure everyone connected with the gory episode was brought to justice.