A pregnant woman who was in labour died today after she was allegedly delayed by police officers for not wearing a face mask in the Ogun Waterside local government area of Ogun state.
According to reports, the deceased, Waidat Adedeji, went into labour and was being rushed on a motorcycle by one of her children to the Ita-Otu General hospital when they were stopped by police officers at Sowore checkpoint. The police officers inquired why they were not wearing face masks and also not obeying the social distancing order of the state government.
It was gathered that the policemen allegedly delayed the motorcyclist who could not pay his way through for hours before they were later released. The woman reportedly died some minutes after.
Youths in the area blamed the police for her death. As a way of protest, they took her corpse and dumped it at the Abigi Divisional Police Headquarters.
Confirming the incident to Tribune, the spokesperson of the state police command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, denied the claim that police officers caused the pregnant woman’s death.
“Our officers were not responsible for the pregnant woman’s death. There were three occupants on a motorcycle as against the directive of the state government that only two people should occupy a motorcycle at a time. They were stopped and interrogated on why they did not obey the sit at home order. They informed the police that the woman was being conveyed to hospital for delivery, and having noticed that the woman was in pains, our men allowed them to proceed,” he said
A Human Rights activist, Festus Ogun who spoke on the matter said the pregnant woman who was already in pain before getting to the checkpoint was allegedly delayed for several hours by the policemen.
Ogun added that it was learnt that the woman was harassed by the police and she was unable to make it to the hospital before she gave up the ghost.
He said, “the true situation is that earlier this morning before dawn, the woman was in labour and she was already bleeding profusely and been taken to the hospital.
“On the way to the hospital, the motorcycle carrying her was stopped by officers of the Nigeria Police Force, she was delayed for hours and it was that delay that led to the death of the woman.
“The matter is that the woman was in serious labour and the policemen were saying because of the lockdown or whatever reason they deliberately delayed the woman and led to the unfortunate death of the woman.
“The woman died with the baby in her , so thereafter the corpse of the woman was taken to the king’s palace, I think she died in between the checkpoint and the hospital.
“In fact, there were threats that the police station will be burnt down. It took the interventions of the traditional ruler of the community, the Alarege of Ibiade and eminent personalities to bring the situation under control.”