A Principal Medical Officer at the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta, Lagos State, Dr Chukwuweike Ojeah, has been hospitalised after he was allegedly attacked by the Director of Operations, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr Niyi Alli.
Our correspondent gathered that Ojeah was returning home from work last Friday when he was almost ran over by Alli’s Sport Utility Vehicle.
After protesting the incident, the senior railway official allegedly attacked him with a stun gun.
Not done, the NRC director allegedly hit the doctor, causing lacerations on his face.
While the doctor bled from the head and nostrils, his assailant was said to have called a senior police officer, ACP Alimi Adegoke, on the telephone to arrest him.
After the officer arrived at the scene, Ojeah introduced himself as a senior doctor at the FMC, at which point both men reportedly left in their respective cars.
Ojeah was said to have reported at the NRC Police Command headquarters before being admitted to hospital.
The management of the FMC, in a petition to the Managing Director of the NRC, which was obtained by an online news medium, SaharaReporters, called for an investigation into the incident.
The petition, dated October 18, 2019, was signed by the Assistant Director, Administration, FMC, Mr H. E. Etim.
It read, “After a short service at the Emmanuel Anglican Church behind the CCECC plant, Ojeah walked to the main road beside the Loco gate by the Central Mosque so as to access public transport to his residence within the railway compound.
“He flagged down a tricycle and negotiated the fare to where he was going. During that process, an SUV drove towards his side and was about to run him over and he exclaimed, ‘What kind of thing is this?’
“The occupant of the vehicle came out and Ojeah identified him to be Mr Niyi Alli (Director of Operations, NRC).
“The said Mr Niyi Alli struck him with a stun gun and hit him on his face, leading to lacerations to his nose and eyebrow. He now put a call to someone, who came in a vehicle and was identified as the Area Commander, Alagomeji, NRC Command, Nigeria Police Force, ACP Alimi Adegoke.
“That Mr Niyi Alli ordered the area commander to send for his men to pick him (Ojeah) and lock him up.
“At this point, Dr Ojeah introduced himself with his identity card as a fellow public servant serving with the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta. On hearing this, they (Alli and Adegoke) abandoned him and took off in their vehicles.”
The hospital said as of Friday, Ojeah was still on admission.
The doctor, when contacted by newsmen, declined comments, saying as a civil servant, he could not speak to the press.
He subsequently cut off the call.
A source at the hospital, however, confided in newsmen that the management of the NRC had started making overtures to settle the matter.
The Secretary and Head of Legal Department, NRC, Mr Obiorah Emedelibe, said the corporation was aware of the petition, adding that it was awaiting the outcome of police investigation into the case.
He denied that Alli used a stun gun on the doctor.
The official said, “We have seen the petition and we are waiting for the police report on it. We don’t want to make statements yet. However, what most people are saying is hearsay. Everybody is painting the picture as it best fits their own story.
“The police are investigating and hopefully in the next 48 hours, they should turn in their report and based on that, we will be able to react.
“But first of all, it was a private encounter between two occupants of the (railway) compound. It should not be a management issue as the hospital has taken it. Also, there was nothing like a stun gun. There are eyewitnesses and the police are interviewing all of them.”
The Commissioner of Police, NRC, John Amadi, could not be reached for comments as of press time as his line was not available.