By NBF News
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The authorities of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, yesterday described as blatant lie some newspapers' report that Chief Pius Ogbuawa, who is in prison custody but hospitalised in the hospital, tried to escape with the aid of hospital officials.

Some national dailies had reported that a non-governmental organisation, Centre for Victims of Extra-Judicial Killings and Torture (CVEKT), raised the alarm of the escape attempt in which they also quoted the organisation as saying the hospital's authority had a hand in the alleged escape bid.

But in a swift reaction both the hospital authorities and Ogbuawa's family expressed surprise at the story, wondering why an organization, allegedly led by a reverend father, could manufacture lies and frame up non-existent events and dish same out to the unsuspecting public to achieve their selfish aims.

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of NAUTH, Professor Robinson Ofiaeli, who was alarmed by the report, told newsmen that the alleged attempt to escape was only the figment of the imagination of the CVEKT and its sponsors.

He said: 'The story by the national dailies is false in its entirety. The alleged escape attempt by Chief Ogbuawa with the help of the hospital officials is laughable. The institution had no knowledge of such attempt, the hospital has only one entry and exit gates and, therefore, the alleged attempt to escape was only the imagination of the group and their sponsors.'

'And for clarity purpose, the security of Chief Ogbuawa, while in the hospital, lies in the hands of the armed prison officials, who were guarding him on his sick bed from the time of admission to the time they took him away. The private room occupied by the patient is inside the male medical ward that had three armed prison officials with another three in the room. 'There was never a time he was removed from the room to another room. So, the allegation of he being searched for was the figment of the imagination of the petition writers.'

The CMD said it was not in the character of the hospital to react to such malicious and damaging claims or join issues with those making the allegations but for the derogatory statement made against NAUTH and its officials, who were professionally discharging their duties to the patient.

He added: 'They are only trying to justify their whisking the patient away from the hospital because they did not want to cooperate with the hospital on standards.

I wrote the prison authority on December 30, 2010 while they took him away on the 31st without any recourse to us. My letter was based on the report of the doctors that were treating him (Ogbuawa) because there are rules in medical practice. The doctors treating him needed conducive atmosphere to work. Doctors need confidentiality with their patients. But these people kept armed men inside the room of the patient and refuse to leave when doctors come to treat the patient and I wrote them and said it is not right.'

Meanwhile, Ogbuawa's family and associates have dismissed the escape attempt allegation as handiwork of his enemies. They decried the inhuman treatment Ogbuawa was being subjected to, alleging that 'among the over 500 inmates of the prison, it is only Chief Ogbuawa that is denied visitors. His wife only comes and sends him food through the gate and is never allowed to have any discussion with him?'