According to University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) authorities, the allegation of poor management of the former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by the medical staff is “false and inaccurate”.
According to the hospital management, Mr Mailafia died from comorbidity-driven coronavirus disease.
Hospital management reluctantly made this disclosure after insistence that patient confidentiality was sacrosanct.
Professor Bissallah Ekele, chief medical director of the hospital, said Mr Mailafia had been managed at two other hospitals where his COVID-19 status was confirmed positive before being referred to the UATH’s isolation centre “when his case had rapidly deteriorated.”
The news of the death of the former presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), in the 2019 general elections, shocked Nigerians on Sunday.
There may be some truth in Nigerians’ concerns and suspicions about Mr Mailafia’s death, based on his vociferous positions on national issues and sharp criticisms of President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged poor governance capacity.
The Middle Belts Forum, an ethno-regional group, accused the hospital of misconduct in its treatment of the late 64-year-old on Sunday.
According to the statement, signed by the group’s national publicity secretary, Isuwa Dogo, the wife of the deceased was asked to make a deposit of N600,000 before receiving treatment.
When Mailafia complained of breathing problems and pleaded with the doctors at the hospital to give him a ventilator, they “flatly refused.”
Mr Ekele described all the allegations against the hospital as false even as our reporter toured the hospital on Monday.
“I can confirm with my honor that all the allegations in the media are untrue,” he said. Before beginning treatment, we never requested a deposit. The doctor on duty that day was on ground and received the patient, who was never denied oxygen. The patient was placed on high-flow oxygen so that he could breathe quickly.”
According to Mr. Ekele, Mailafia had COVID-19 with other comorbidities before he was referred to the facility.
“It was unfortunate that his health deteriorated rapidly despite all efforts to save him”, he said.
Also, the medical director questioned the motive of those that were spreading what he called fake news. The Middle Belts Forum leadership did not contact the hospital before issuing its statement, he said.
Doctor Usman Galadima, who was on duty at the hospital’s infectious disease center when Mr Mailafia arrived on Saturday, said he was surprised by the allegations floating around on social media.”