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Mystery over missing baby, placenta in Ondo Mortuary



Mystery over missing baby, placenta in Ondo Mortuary

Just as faith and reasoning are birds of a strange fellow, medical science and mystery are also birds of different colours. This scenario played out in Akure, the Ondo State capital after the death of Mrs. Nike Owonidahun at the Police Clinic. Babatope Okeowo reports that the baby with the placenta of the deceased was declared missing. However, the drama became mystery when the missing baby and placenta were said to have reappeared in the womb of the woman



For Mr. Femi Owonidahun, a policeman, it was a double tragedy as he lost both wife and child during childbirth at the Police Clinic, Akure.

The occasion that supposed to be a joyous moment for the Owonidahuns turned sad as his wife, Nike, a staff of a private insurance firm and the unborn child died in controversial circumstances at the clinic.

As if that was not enough, the child and placenta were declared missing at mortuary of the State Specialist Hospital in Akure, when the bereaved husband and family members came for the burial of the deceased.

Sources at the hospital who witnessed the drama at the hospital said the mortuary attendance had dressed the corpse of the woman and handed over a handbag which supposed to contain the baby and the placenta to the bereaved father for a decent burial.


The drama, however, ensued when the father on opening the handbag discovered that only rags were packaged in the nylon bag in the form of the dead baby and the placenta. This development led to pandemonium as the family of the bereaved protested and held hospital management to ransom over the missing corpse of a baby and the placenta at the mortuary located inside the State hospital.


Nike had on May 15, died at the Police Clinic during childbirth. He also lost the baby. Sources at the Police Clinic said the woman died when asked by the nurses and midwives to ‘push’ so that the baby could come out.

The medical doctor said immediately they discovered that the woman had died, they rushed her to the theater to see if they could save the unborn child. However, the baby could not survive as he was brought out dead from the mother’s womb.

Since the Police Clinic did not have mortuary facilities, they took the corpse of the woman, her dead child and the placenta to the State Specialist Hospital for safe keeping until the family would be ready for burial.

The corpse of the mother, Mrs. Nike Owonidaun, lifeless baby and placenta were deposited at the state’s hospital Mortuary where necessary records to that effect were documented.

However, husband of the deceased said it was a shocking experience for him and his family as the lifeless body of his late wife, baby and the placenta were found missing at the state specialist hospital Mortuary.

Speaking at the hospital premises during the protest, Owonidaun noted that 15th of May, his wife died at the Police Clinic in Akure after a caesarian operation conducted without his knowledge before transferring the corpse of his late wife, lifeless baby and the placenta to the state specialist hospital.

Owonidaun who was talking amid tears said that materials used to wrap the lifeless body of the baby were found in the casket but the lifeless baby was nowhere to be found for necessary burial rites to be done by the family.


His words “After the death of my wife, I took the corpse, baby and placenta to the State Specialist Hospital. They took the record of the deceased at the mortuary. When we came to the mortuary to pick the corpses for burial, the mortuary attendant could not produce corpse of the baby and the placenta.

“After washing the corpse of my wife, they put her in the casket without the baby and the placenta. We now asked the mortuary attendance where the corpse of the baby and the placenta is?

“They asked me in turn if I want to see the corpses of my wife, baby, and placenta. They said am I not afraid of the ghost of the deaths? We insisted that we want to see remains of the baby because we cannot just leave him like that. We want to wrap him with a white cloth and give him a decent burial like his mother.

“When we insisted, we now opened the casket only to find my wife only. It was at this point we raised alarm and staged a protest that they must produce both baby’s corpse and placenta.

“The State Commissioner of Health came here, checked the record and confirmed that we brought the woman, her son, and placenta.”

Staff at the Police Clinic said the woman died when she was asked to push. The doctors now said they should try to save the baby after the death of the mother. It was the reason for the cesarean operation for the dead woman. He said they could not wait for the father who was not around before they would try to save the baby.

The source said contrary to the claim of the father, he was not around when the wife was about to give birth and could not have given his consent to the surgery to try to save the baby.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro who spoke with New Telegraph in his office said the matter has been referred to the State Police Command for investigation.


Adegbenro said two mortuary attendances that were on duty when the corpses were brought have been arrested and handed over to the Police for necessary investigation. He said they have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for further investigation. His words: “I have advised the family to write the Ministry of Health officially. But for seriousness of the situation, we have gone ahead by informing the police and the police had swung into action. The Police will invariably inform us of their findings. If any of our staff is found guilty, we will now take appropriate action.

The State Police Command which confirmed the incident said it had begun an investigation into the circumstance that surrounded the missing of a dead baby and the placenta in the morgue of the State Specialists Hospital.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph said the hospital officials would be invited for questioning but nobody had yet been arrested over the incident, as at the time of this report. His words: “We have not made any arrest for now but we have commenced an investigation into the matter. We will invite the workers of the hospital, especially those working in the mortuary section.”

There was however a new twist to the matter when it was reported that the missing baby was still in the womb of the dead woman. Sources in the hospital said one of the mortuary attendances was said to have told the bereaved father that such mystery is not new to them.


He gave an example of a woman who was delivered of a baby by a nurse and the baby was declared missing. It was later discovered that it was a dead nurse from the mortuary that came to deliver the baby because there was no nurse on duty. He added that the newborn baby was found in the mortuary with the dead nurse. Giving credence to this mystery, a news channel in the state gave an update on the missing child. It said “The missing corpse of a day old baby reportedly removed at the Police hospital, Akure has suddenly reappeared in the womb of the deceased mother at the State Specialist Hospital, Akure


However, the medical personnel said it is not possible medically for an operated baby to have returned to the womb of the woman. According to Dr. Adegbenro, medically, it is not possible for a fetus that has been removed to return to the uterus without anybody bringing it back.
His words “it is not possible for the fetus to come back to the uterus on its own. The police are investigating it, they will tell us the outcome of their investigation. Maybe they will subject the woman to autopsy. These are issues that will come up along the line.”


But a source who is familiar with the operation of mortuary attendance told New Telegraph that such mystery is not impossible. He said those who work at mortuary are strange human beings as they possess the magic to communicate with the dead.

Meanwhile, the hospital has ordered an autopsy to determine the authenticity of the mystery and would make their report public.



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