Medical Doctor Testifies at Lagos Judicial Panel

The head of clinical services at Victoria Island Consultancy and Hospital Services Limited Dr Olufemi Eperokun today Saturday 26th June 2021 appeared before the Lagos State judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters to give testimony in the petition of Damilola Adedayo one of the Lekki EndSARS protester who had a medical report from Reddington hospital Lekki in evidence before the panel wherein he stated that he was shot at the Lekki tollgate plaza by men in military gear on the 20th of October 2020. But when the petitioner gave his evidence in chief before the Lagos State judicial panel last week Saturday 19th June 2021, he recanted and stated that he was shot by policemen at the Lekki roundabout on the 21st of October 2020 and not by military men and that he was rushed to Reddington hospital Lekki, from where he was referred to Victoria Island Consultancy and Hospital Services limited due to lack bed space.

But during the cross examination of the petitioner/witness by the Lagos State government counsel A. J. Owonikoko (SAN), he put it to the witness that the EndSARS protester Damilola Adedayo from the medical report submitted to the panel by Reddington hospital Lekki, was transferred to General hospital Lagos Island and not Victoria Island Consultancy and Hospital Services Limited. But the witness retorted that he was transferred in a Reddington hospital Lekki ambulance to Victoria Island Consultancy and Hospital Services Limited and that he was on admission at the hospital from the Wednesday 21st – Sunday 25th June 2020 during which x-ray scan could not be conducted on his leg due to the absence of the hospital radiographer throughout his stay in the hospital for 5 days, though the counsel asked the witness to reconcile how his X-ray scan done at a medical facility in Aguda Surulere bore the date 23rd October 2020 when he was still on admission at the Victoria Island Consultancy and Hospital Services Limited, but the witness could not reconcile the inconsistency.

Testifying today at the Lagos judicial panel, Dr. Olufemi Eperokun who claimed to be the medical director and head of clinical services at Victoria Island Consultancy and Hospital Services Limited, tendered a medical report on the EndSARS protester patient Damilola Adedayo dated 23rd June 2021 which was admitted and marked as exhibit.

Under cross examination by the Nigeria police counsel, who demanded for the referral letter on the patient from Reddington hospital to Victoria Island Consultancy and Hospital Services Limited, the witness said he doesn’t have it with him at the panel but affirmed that the patient was attended to by him on arrival and he told him Dr. Eperokun that he was one of those shot on the night of the 20th of October 2020 at the Lekki tollgate plaza and taken to Reddington hospital Lekki from where he was referred. That the patient was admitted at his hospital from the 21st – 23rd October 2020, after which he was discharged and issued a medical paper for a x-ray scan at a medical facility close to his abode of residence.

Dr. Eperokun admitted writing the medical report on a patient he discharged from his hospital on 23rd October 2020 on 23rd June 2021 after receiving the Lagos State judicial panel witness summons dated 19th June 2021.

Under cross examination by Mr. Olukayode Enitan (SAN), Dr. Femi Eperokun stated that his hospital ambulance went to Reddington hospital Lekki to convey the patient, but when reminded that the patient in question was referred, he explained that probably that his hospital administrator was contacted and she sent an ambulance to bring in the patient. Mr. Enitan (SAN) then asked for the referral letter and clinical notes, but the witness said he forgot to bring them and he was mandated by the panel to produce both documents at the next sitting of the matter based on the application of the learned silk.

The learned silk then drew the attention of Dr Olufemi Eperokun to the fact that the medical report request for X-ray written and signed by one Dr. Edafe on the patient, stated injury to the right foot and not gunshot wound to rollout fracture as said in his evidence in chief. He said his statement was based on what the patient told him.

Dr. Femi Eperokun affirmed that his hospital has a radiographer in it’s employment, but when asked why radiography was not carried out on the patient throughout his stay in the hospital, Dr. Eperokun said the reason was due to the fact that the day the patient was admitted on 21st October 2020 was a weekend and at a time the radiographer had closed for the day, being a weekend of Friday and that the radiographer does not come to work on Saturdays.

However Mr. Olukayode Enitan (SAN) drew the attention of Dr Eperokun to the calendar, that 21st of October 2020 was a Wednesday and the patient was in the hospital facility till Friday 23rd October 2020 when it was claimed that he was discharged. Dr. Eperokun then changed gear and said maybe, the radiographer didn’t come to work due to the security threat existing as at the period in question.

When asked if he would be surprised to learn that the patient said he was discharged from Victoria Island Consultancy and Hospital Services Limited on Sunday 25th October 2020 Dr. Eperokun said he would not be surprised, same thing he said in reaction to the patient statement that he was conveyed to Victoria Island Consultancy and Hospital Services by Reddington hospital Lekki ambulance as against the oral testimony of the medical doctor.

In reaction to a testimony of the patient that he was shot at the Lekki tollgate plaza on the 20th October 2020 which he told him verbally and is also contained in his medical report from Reddington hospital Lekki, but is at variance with his evidence in chief at the panel, Dr. Olufemi Eperokun said he would not be surprised because his inconsistent testimony is as a result of psychological trauma. When asked if the psychological evaluation of the patient was captured in his clinical notes, Dr Eperokun answered in the negative.

Mr. Enitan (SAN) then asked Dr. Olufemi Eperokun to give his expert advise based on his psychological evaluation of the patient and state when the mental state of the patient was imbalanced whether when he made statement at Reddington hospital Lekki, or at Victoria Island Consultancy and Hospital Services Limited or when he gave his evidence in chief at the judicial panel and to the conflicting date and venue where he claimed to have been shot. Dr. Eperokun said the patient was psychologically traumatized when he assessed him, but when asked to pick any of the testimony of the patient as reliable and valid, Dr. Eperokun, surprisingly said the most reliable testimony of the witness was when he assessed him as being psychologically traumatized at Victoria Island Consultancy and Hospital Services Limited.

When asked by Mr. Rotimi Seriki of LCC, Dr. Olufemi Eperokun admitted that the branch of medicine that deals in mental health is psychiatry and neurology. When asked if he has a medical qualification in that field, he responded in the negative. On his professional competence to conduct a psychological evaluation of a patient, Dr Eperokun admitted that though he doesn’t have the requisite qualification and experience, but that he can conduct a psychological evaluation of a patient.

Dr. Eperokun was asked if he accessed the X-ray film of the patient for which he wrote a medical report of gun shot injuries to rollout fracture, the medical doctor admitted seeing the X-ray of the patient conducted on 23rd October 2020 for the first time today 26th June 2021 at the Lagos State judicial panel sitting and that the medical report which he wrote on the 23rd of June 2021 after the panel witness summons served on him, was the outcome of a telephone conversation between a nurse in his hospital and the brother of the patient on the 24th of October 2020. He admitted not seeing the patient nor the X-ray film because the patient didn’t come back but wrote a medical report on the basis of what he was told by a 3rd party.

The panel then adjourned the matter to 10th July, 2021 to enable Dr. Femi Eperokun produce the clinical notes and the referral letter from Reddington hospital Lekki for cross examination by counsels.

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