By PETRUS OBI, Enugu
…As family disagrees over burial
The corpse of Chief Theodore Ezeobi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who died about four months ago, was yesterday morning stolen from the mortuary of Mother of Christ Specialist Hospital in Enugu.
Before the sudden disappearance of the corpse, the family of the deceased had been having a running battle over his burial that pitted the first son, Theodore (Jnr), against his mother and other siblings.
A burial announcement, which was published in the newspapers, fixing the burial for July 31, was quickly disowned by another advertorial signed by daughter to the deceased, Chinelo Ezeobi, who advised well-wishers and the public to disregard the publication as the correct information for the burial would be made public at the right time
Chinelo, who spoke to Daily Sun on phone, said they were shocked to learn yesterday morning that their father’s corpse had been removed from the mortuary.
She said unknown persons broke into the mortuary and took away the corpse.
She also confirmed that the family had been having issues with the first son over the burial.
Following the development, the police in Enugu had invited the hospital mortician, some security men from the hospital and some top management staff for questioning.
A close hospital source alleged that the mortician had gone to the mortuary to deposit another corpse shortly after midnight when he discovered that the mortuary had been burgled.
Sensing trouble, he searched and discovered that one of the corpses in his care had been removed. Consequently, he raise the alarm and at the same time informed the bereaved family of the development.
The source also disclosed that there was a standing order that nobody should be allowed to see the corpse apart from few identified members of the immediate family.
A letter was also made available to Daily Sun, in which the hospital through its counsel, Chief Charles Ogbo, in reply to a letter from one of the sons of the deceased demanding the release of Chief Ezeobi’s corpse to him, stated that it was not the practice of the hospital to release a corpse to persons who did not deposit it in their mortuary.
The letter read in part: “Our clients will release the corpse to your mother who deposited same, you have the option of coming in company of your mother and on production of the receipt, our clients will release the corpse to you if she consents.
“Your late father was brought to Mother of Christ Specialist Hospital in Enugu on January 20, 14 by your mother, Iyom Bernadette Ezeobi, who stayed with him until his death on March 28, 14. Your mother deposited his corpse in our clients’ mortuary and was issued with a receipt.
“You never showed up in hospital for the whole period your late father was hospitalised. On April 25, 14 (almost one month after his death), you went to our clients demanding to see his corpse and they rightly refused on grounds that you did not deposit the corpse.”
Efforts to reach the first son of Chief Theodore Ezeobi, Theodore Junior, failed as at the time of this report as his mobile phones were not reachable.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ebere Amaraizu, said the police were trying to unravel the mystery behind the missing corpse.
When Daily Sun visited the Central Police Station in Enugu, the mortician, who was in handcuff and some management staff of the hospital were seen in the station.